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2007 in Review: The Baby Business Makes News

Genetic Crossroads
December 21st, 2007

NY publisher (center) with egg provider, surrogate, and baby

The commerce of reproductive technology took some disturbing new twists this year. In January, a Texas entrepreneur opened what she called the "world's first human embryo bank" - a retail depository of designer embryos that amounts to the Wal-martization of human reproduction.

In July, the New York Times Magazine featured a story about the tribulations and triumphs of women who have children via egg "donation," with the perspectives of the women from whom the eggs were arduously obtained notably missing.

In August, two women's lifestyle magazines - Marie Claireand Glamour - ran stories on contract surrogacy. The first was forthright about the class, race and global dynamics at play; the second ignored them completely. In October, a segment on the Oprah Winfrey Show titled "Wombs for Rent" informed millions of viewers that the growing practice of Americans hiring Indian women on the cheap to carry their pregnancies is - in Oprah's words - "beautiful."


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