(Reprinted with permission from the Society of St. Sebastian)

Abstract. In our current society, the push for less restriction on reproductive technologies is prevalent. IVF and surrogacy, however, inherently possess many injustices for human beings.  Therefore, more restrictive legislation, starting with IVF legislation, must be passed.

 

Introduction

In January, 2020, the state of New York passed an “infertility mandate” that requires large group insurance providers—companies with more than 100 employees—to cover up to three cycles of IVF for infertile persons, egg and sperm freezing, as well as drugs used for the treatment of infertility.[1] There is also a push against the Department of Veterans affairs for them to offer reproductive health care benefits to LGBT persons, as well as unmarried persons, to allow them to have their use of reproductive technologies covered despite their being unable to produce their own sperm and eggs. As one single veteran stated of her wanting to experience pregnancy and birth: “For me, the experience is just more than a want. I need it.” And a transgender person and her partner stated that it would be a blessing to have a child to “fill the void in their lives.”[2] No one “needs” a child, and children are not objects with which to fulfill our desires or “voids.”

The New York Infertility Mandate and the recent push in Rhode Island for “equal reproductive rights” among LGBT persons [3] continue to promote and push the belief among society that IVF is a moral practice—one which everyone should accept with no further consideration of the harms of the process. IVF is a practice that allows for a plethora of injustices for the most innocent human beings, promotes the degradation of society’s most healthy familial structure, and allows for a decrease in the dignity of women.

Argument/Critique

IVF

IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is one of the most common forms of reproductive technologies. IVF is the process through which eggs and sperm are retrieved, sometimes from gamete donors, and mixed together like science experiments in a laboratory to create multiple embryonic persons.[4] As is scientifically proven, the moment that a sperm fertilizes an egg, a new human being is now in existence. As stated by Dr. Jerome Lejeune, the “Father of Modern Genetics”: “…each individual has a very neat beginning: the moment of its conception…to accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion…it is  plain experimental evidence.”[5]

The embryos judged most viable are transferred into a woman’s uterus with the expectation of implantation,[6] with the number of embryos transferred being dependent upon the woman’s age and the likelihood of success.[7] If it’s decided for any reason that too many embryos have implanted in the uterus, a selective reduction may be performed, or rather, abortions, until only the desired number of human beings remain alive in the uterus.[8] The embryos that are not transferred are then frozen, destroyed, donated to scientific research, or put up for “embryo adoption.”[9]

IVF intentionally plays a reproductive gaming wheel of chance by bringing human life into existence with the full knowledge that not all of the lives will make it, if any. Even if only one embryo is created and transferred, trial and error with that one, full person, is still occurring, with the full knowledge that that human being may not implant. Consider this: if 20 embryos are created through IVF, 14 of them will die from “natural” causes; 5 of them will be discarded or frozen; 5 are abandoned or destroyed; and 19 are treated as expendable and dehumanized—all for the sake of producing one child born by the process.[10]

Reproductive technologies, such as IVF, open the door for adults to configure families to their desires and do whatever steps they feel necessary to reproduce children without a care as to any injustice these choices may inflict upon these children.

Preimplantation Screening

Embryos are often chosen for implantation on their likelihood of implantation in the womb by a screening process that picks the “best” embryos to implant. After fertilization, doctors will look at the cell division rate, the symmetry of the cell, and other factors related to the morphology of the embryo.[11] This preimplantation scanning, other than screening for implantation success rate, the likelihood of miscarriage, and birth defects, also consists of screening for disabilities such as Down Syndrome, Turner Syndrome, Sickle Cell Anemia, Muscular Dystrophy, and Fragile-X Syndrome. Some of these disabilities can be death sentences at a certain stage of one’s life, while others are most certainly not death sentences, such as Down Syndrome.[12] A company in Israel, Embryonics, has created an algorithm that can examine “tens of thousands” of embryos to determine their implant-success rate and so predict which embryos are likely to succeed. IVF paves the way for this and other types of eugenics practices that potentially determine which human beings will live or die based on the possible quality of life. Combining the numbers of embryonic persons who are disposed of, do not survive the unthawing process, or are donated to research, IVF disposes of millions of potentially viable human beings. In 2012, it was found that, since 1991, 3.5 million embryos had been created and that only 235,480 had been successfully implanted, 1.7 million having been discarded, with 23,480 being destroyed after their removal from storage.[13]

Based on reports from 448 clinics in the United States, in 2017 there were 284,385 IVF cycles performed, which resulted in 78,052 live-born infants. Whereas in 2018, reported by 456 clinics, of the 309,197 IVF cycles performed, there were 81,478 live infants born as a result.[14] These results show that there has been an increase in the use of IVF as a reproductive technology. This increase in IVF use also brings about an increase in the likelihood of human beings being discarded, destroyed, or placed within the injustice of embryo adoption. For those human beings placed in frozen limbo, there is no guarantee that they will survive the thawing process, which in turn kills human beings that would otherwise have had no abnormalities that would have caused them to be discarded initially. A study published in 2011 revealed that a total of 1991 zygotes, 2,880 embryos frozen three days after embryo transfer, and 503 blastocysts that were of “good quality” were thawed. The thawed survival rate was 69% for zygotes, 85% for D3 embryos, and 88% for blastocysts.[15] While having seemingly high success rates, the percentage of “good quality” humans who died during the thawing process causes concern.

Research for Science

IVF paves the way for more babies to be used for scientific research, as was recently undertaken by a team of scientists in London. These scientists used donated embryos to research the role of a particular gene, the POU5F1 gene, in the earliest stages of development. When the scientists compared the gene-edited embryos to the non-edited embryos, the gene-edited embryos showed major edits that the scientists did not intend. The embryonic human beings were then discarded after the experiment went awry.[16]

The promise of scientific breakthroughs through gene editing—alterations intended to comfort future couples with a greater expectation that they will have more healthy children because these children’s genes have been manipulated to lessen or eliminate possible disease and other potentially harmful medical conditions—turned out to be hollow. Couples currently pursuing the IVF process who are unaware of this, however, may still be encouraged to continue donating excess embryos for experimentation. With this potential, however, comes the continuation of the discarding of human embryonic persons. Not only does such experimentation result in the discarding of human beings, but it also carries with it the potential to inflict hidden harms, as no one knows the full range of consequences altering a person’s DNA might have on these humans or their future offspring. Deeply concealed abnormalities, other birth defects, and various cancers are all possibilities. Experimentation with gene editing also opens the gateway to manufacturing “designer babies”—persons crafted to possess a desired height, intelligence, hair color, and other “made to order” traits.[17]

Not only does IVF contribute to the practice of conducting scientific research on embryos, but it encourages scientists to continue pushing the boundaries of reproduction and further the destruction of the nuclear family. Technologies that enable two men or two women to have biological children together by creating egg and sperm cells from a person’s skin cells are already in development.[18]

Gender Selection

Since unique human beings come into existence upon fertilization, the gender of the persons being fashioned through IVF can be determined before implantation. This allows persons pursuing the IVF process to choose the gender that they want to be transferred and, therefore, choose which of their children gets to live based on their genders. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend chose their first child to be a girl because Chrissy felt that John “deserved” the bond with a little girl.[19] Being allowed to choose your children’s gender can increase selective reduction due to disappointment from the parents if the process does not turn out to their satisfaction. A couple that pursued the IVF process in Australia found out that they were expecting twin boys and chose to abort them because they already had three boys and were desperate for a girl.[20] In Pennsylvania, a couple desperate for a boy put out an offer on the internet to trade their girl embryo for a boy, which was answered by a woman in Brooklyn who was disappointed upon finding out that her embryo, created from a donor egg, was a boy, as she desperately wanted a girl.[21]

In its hopes to put infertile couples on the same “level” as fertile couples by allowing them to have children, IVF takes reproduction to a level that fertile couples are not able to achieve, further distorting the reproduction process, as one cannot pick their child’s gender when conceiving naturally.

Greater Risk of Developing Intellectual Disabilities

Children born through in vitro fertilization are also at higher risk for intellectual disabilities. As stated by The Perth Hospital Telethon Kids Institute: “…researchers pooled data on more than 210,000 children born in Western Australia between 1994 and 2002, taking into account more than eight years of childhood development.  They found children conceived through ART were, in fact, a touch more likely to develop a mild to severe cognitive impairment. On closer inspection, it also seemed apparent that some procedures posed a greater risk than others. Children conceived using ICSI [Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection] had the greatest chance of impairment, for example, with 1 in 32 children diagnosed with some level of intellectual disability compared with 1 in 59 children conceived without any help from fertility treatments.”[22]

On top of being at higher risk for intellectual disabilities, children conceived through IVF are also at higher risk for premature birth, stillbirth or death within 28 days of birth,[23] rare birth defects,[24] childhood illness,[25] and higher blood pressure. Higher blood pressure causes can include intrauterine cardiac remodeling and premature vascular aging, which are possible “due to how genes were expressed during the stressful and unnatural conditions that can occur with IVF.” Another cause of the high blood pressure that can be found in children conceived through IVF can be due to health factors of the pool of individuals that generally seek IVF, such as women pursuing the process that are older in age and obese.[26]

Surrogacy

Out of IVF practice arises the practice of surrogacy, which involves a woman’s carrying a child for a couple that is within a marital union, or for a single “intended parent,” and then relinquishing the child to the “intended parent/s” upon birth. Surrogacy is the rental of women for their reproductive abilities, as there’s a service that is being performed and a transaction that is taking place. Surrogacy tells us that it’s completely okay to intentionally separate pregnancy from motherhood, as the very act intentionally separates pregnancy from motherhood and suggests to the world that pregnancy need not be considered in any significant way a mark of motherhood. Surrogacy tells the world that it’s fine to use one of the most intimate realities of a woman’s body, her miraculous ability to create human beings and nurture human lives, to fulfill the desires of others. Surrogacy suggests that there’s no meaning worth considering to the prenatal bond between mother and child, there’s no meaning worth considering to the biological relationship between parents and their offspring, and that pregnancy is nothing more than incubation.[27] The practice of IVF and surrogacy continually endorse the destruction of the nuclear family structure, even leading to the practice of grandmothers’ giving birth to their grandchildren,[28] and aunts’ and uncles’ donating sperm and eggs to their brothers/sisters—aunts and uncles who in actuality are the genetic mothers and fathers of these children.[29]

A culture focused on eliminating women’s objectification and promoting equal respect among the sexes should not condone surrogacy, and women seeking dignity and equality should not allow their bodies’ abilities to create human life to become a dehumanizing breeding service from which others benefit.[30]

Surrogacy asks women to be mothers intentionally and then denies that they are, in fact, mothers, while denying the reality that babies are not born as “blank slates.” They very much know the women who carry them as their mothers. In fact, according to Dr. Catherine Lynch, “As adoptees we say: the loss of the mother’s body at birth is experienced as a trauma which is felt at first as an inexpressible loss (what can the baby do but cry?) and creates a lacuna of despair that never leaves the person despite a lifetime of adaptation and socialization, and despite that fact that this trauma having occurred before the development of long-term memory, the trauma is not consciously “remembered.” The experience of losing part of the self, the mother whom the child seeks after birth, is not somehow left behind because the baby is unable to retain its mental image.”[31]

Healthy Familial Structure

In July 2020, Rhode Island signed the “Uniform Parentage Act,” which gives those persons using reproductive technologies such as gay/lesbian and unmarried individuals “equal rights” as parents. The purpose of passing this bill is to make it easier for non-biological parents to immediately gain legal parental rights upon the birth of the children they have created. This bill claims to be about “protecting kids,” but, in reality, this statement by Anna Ford proves this bill is not about protecting children, but rather about fulfilling the desires of adults: “They shouldn’t have to be fighting in court to prove they are parents when they are the obvious but not the biological parents.” The Uniform Parentage Act is nothing more than a further push to allow children to “belong to” whichever adults claim ownership to them, which intentionally deprives them of their biological identity and heritage and their right to be raised by their biological mothers and fathers.[32]

Turning children into our own personal property diminishes the importance of the most healthy familial structure and the ideal familial structure every child deserves—the right to be known, raised, and loved by his or her biological mother and father. Every child has a natural genetic inheritance stemming from his or her mother and father that he or she has a right to know and embrace, and acting as if biology is irrelevant to this is cruel and a foolish denial of reality. Every human being has a unique genetic inheritance that is the foundation of his or her existence and contributes to his or her sense of personal identity. If we don’t acknowledge genetics and biological connections, then the whole idea of family is meaningless. Of course, surrogacy separates children from the right to be known and loved by their mothers and to know and love their mothers at the very moment of fertilization.

Other than showing disregard for human life at its most innocent stage, IVF opens the door for the use of donor gametes. Society tries to diminish the relevance of gender and biology and to state instead that “love is what makes a family.” Still, in doing so, we deny a basic building block of reality, and men, women, and children get commodified in the process. Conceiving children through gamete donation profoundly impacts the rights of these children themselves, such as causing them to struggle with a vague or nonexistent genetic identity,[33] and often denies them the right to their mother and father by giving “equal parenting rights” to homosexual couples or single mothers by choice.[34]

Why are mothers and fathers important? Fathers use more authoritative parenting, which leads to better emotional, social, academic, and behavioral outcomes. Children with higher levels of father involvement have higher levels of confidence, sociability, self-control, and are less likely to act out in school, have fewer teen pregnancies, and are less likely to participate in risky behaviors in adolescence such as crime and drug and alcohol abuse. Fathers provide a sense of security and protection. Fathers influence the development of imagination and critical thinking skills through creative play. The rough-and-tumble play that fathers provide allows for the opportunity for fathers to quickly bond with their children, as fathers and children get their peaks in oxytocin from playing with each other, and mothers and children get these oxytocin peaks when being affectionate. This type of play with fathers is beneficial for the development of children because it’s reciprocal and risky. This type of play teaches the child about the give and take of relationships and how to determine and appropriately handle risk.

Fatherless children are more likely to experience poverty as children and adults. Fatherless children are more likely to struggle with mental health disorders like anxiety, suicide, and depression. The absence of fathers hinders development, beginning at infancy, and the psychological harm of father absence continues throughout adulthood.[35]

On the other hand, mothers provide comfort, nurturing, and a fulfillment of emotional needs, which originates through the deep, profound attachment initially formed through pregnancy, which surrogacy deliberately denies through its distortion of pregnancy. This nurturing and fulfillment of emotional needs continues throughout the child’s life.[36] Mothers are vitally important to a child’s development, especially in the first three years of his or her life. Mothers soothe a child’s distress and help regulate a child’s emotions “by making sure that their emotions do not run too high or too low,” states psychoanalyst Erica Komisar. This regulation of emotions helps babies begin to learn how to cope and “lays down the foundation for resilience to stress going forward into adulthood,” says Erica.

When mothers and babies are separated, they each produce more of the stress hormone cortisol, and when unrelieved, the cortisol can cause a baby or toddler to become anxious. Erica also states that she’s “seen an epidemic of troubled children who are being diagnosed and medicated earlier and earlier with ADHD, early aggression, and other behavioral and social disorders,” as a result of a child’s inability to regulate emotions in response to stress in the environment. All of this is due to mother’s not being present enough. Mothers and fathers, from a biological perspective, can’t be interchanged. Babies need sensitive nurturing for their brain development. A mother is more of a sensitive nurturer, as a mother is more emotionally invested in her child and more committed to his or her safety and survival. At the same time, other caregivers and fathers do not have the same instincts. “The more emotionally and physically a mother can be present for a child in the first three years, the better the chance that child will be emotionally healthy and mentally well.”[37]

Embryo Adoption

Embryo, or “snowflake” adoption, is the process of adopting, carrying, and raising an embryo that a couple has leftover from IVF. This practice is an alternative to leaving these human beings in frozen limbo, donating them to research, or outright discarding them. Embryo adoption allows couples who feel that they have created enough children through the IVF process to give their remaining children a chance at life, while an infertile couple gets to experience pregnancy and parenthood that otherwise may be impossible.[38] Embryo adoption, however, enables one to go out of one’s way to contribute to children’s experiencing the pain of being abandoned, intentionally creates non-ideal situations for the children, and further supports an industry—the IVF industry—which centers around nothing more than commodifying children and causing the deaths of many of these children throughout the IVF process.

Furthermore, this practice reinforces the belief that “a child is mine if I want that child, and not mine if I don’t,” a sentiment that prevails in the aforementioned “equal parenthood” laws, as well as throughout the gamete donation and surrogacy process. Children of surrogacy, both gestational and traditional, are not considered to be their carriers’ children, even if they are biologically related to them. Still, non-genetically related mothers say that these children are theirs because they carry them and will have a bond. In instances of surrogacy, a woman is meant to have no attachment towards the child she carries because the child is not “biologically” hers. But in embryo adoption, a woman grows attached to the child, who is also not biologically hers, and loves the child because she’s going to be raising him or her. The meaning of pregnancy does not go both ways.

Many of the problem issues we see with surrogacy arise in the context of embryo adoption. Other than there being no alternative but to play the gaming wheel of chance present in IVF, embryo adoption also opens the door for children to experience genealogical bewilderment and feelings of rejection, as well as physically separating them from biological siblings. Sadly, all of these are present in children conceived through gamete donation[39] and children who are adopted. These children are not brought into the world by an act of love between their parents but were picked out of a freezer like a cold block of flounder product. Even with the best intentions from the adoptive parents, what does being conceived in this manner do to one’s dignity? To one’s sense of identity?

This way of adopting children is also a distortion, clearly, of the one-flesh marital union, with its prescribed way of procreation, which God ordained for the very reason that children would be extensions of a man and his wife. Isn’t it obvious that in this distorted situation the woman is literally carrying the one flesh of another marital union and raising that flesh as an extension of her own marital union? At the same time, the child is primarily, in fact, not of her flesh at all?  Besides that, children fashioned by this distortion are being deprived intentionally of their biological parents and subjected to their being carried, birthed, and raised by women who are not their biological mothers. How can such children hope to be spared from psychological damage? How can they avoid growing up without a distorted view of natural family dynamics?

God’s ideal for procreation is within the one-flesh union of a marriage. Children created inside the one-flesh union are meant for that one-flesh union. People do not “need” other people’s children. Children are not gifts you can give to other people. They are non-transferable. This is not a selfless act, but a last resort if one is against the destruction of embryos, except that if one truly were, one would not have pursued IVF in the first place. Even though embryo adoption would be the best option for allowing these human beings to live, it is hardly an ideal scenario, and it’s one that never should have arisen as an option at all.

Not only is being conceived in such a manner an injustice to the dignity of these children and a violation of their rights to their mothers and fathers, but it allows for intentional deprivation of genetic history. This deprivation of genetic history is continually reinforced by “equal parenthood” laws.

In a study done on 17 embryo adoption families and 24 adoptive families with children ages 5-9, it was found that in middle to late childhood, the adoptees showed higher levels of psychological maladjustment than non-adoptees, due possibly to a growing understanding of what it means to be adopted. Adopted children can also suffer due to previous experiences such as non-ideal prenatal environments, post-natal abuse or neglect, or genetic, psychological issues.[40] Even though children conceived through embryo adoption do not have the same previous circumstances as “traditional” adoptees, the same levels of psychological maladjustment are not found in embryo adopted children. The level of disclosure about genetic parentage is not as high in these circumstances. In the aforementioned study, it was found that “only 3 ED mothers (18%) had told their child about the donor conception. Four (25%) planned to disclose, and 2 (12%) were uncertain, but the most frequent response from 8 ED mothers (47%) was that they definitely would not tell. Conversely, all 24 adoptive mothers (100%) had talked to their child about the adoption.”[41]

Given what is true about children conceived through gamete donation, it is not outlandish to suggest that if children conceived through embryo donation were disclosed the origins of their conception, the same psychological maladjustment issues found in adoptees would surely exist. It is no mystery that human beings long to know and connect with their genetic origins:

“From an adult offspring perspective, now the mere concept of non-identity release sperm donation seems to be based on contradictions and flawed reasoning. Well-intentioned women pursue donor insemination rather than adoption due to a deep longing for a biological connection with a child. Yet, ironically non-identity release donor conception frequently severs that exact same biological connection between the offspring, the donor, and the rest of the paternal biological family. This severed connection may leave offspring feeling incomplete or heart-broken, much the same way that women pursuing sperm donor conception probably feel without a biological child. Not only have I personally experienced what feels like the death of my biological father, but I also continue to grieve for the loss of the opportunity to know my biological half-siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents…”[42]

“The peculiar thing about donor conception is that on the one hand it privileges genetics: the fertile partner gets to be a real, biological parent. On the other hand, it says that genetics do not matter for the other half of the gametes, and that as long as a child is “wanted,” he will have everything he needs.”[43]

“…The mistake the American public is making when it comes to reproductive technologies is that 1) too many people need to be convinced of the full humanity of those conceived via donor conception or IVF, and 2) too many underestimate how much children need to know and be known by their natural mother and father.”

“If Brave New World made you shudder and the baby marketplace that is third-party reproduction gives you the creeps, it might be your gut telling you there’s something wrong with it. But the problem is not the existence of the child—we are fully human.”

“In my view, third-party reproduction is not a new way to create families; it’s a new way to rip them apart. Like slavery, many profiteers in the infertility business make large sums of cash taking children away from their natural parents. The problems of toxic shame, anger, and poverty will compound. The fertility community will be perplexed. “Why are these kids so angry?” they’ll ask.” [44]

“I’m sorry to tell you this, but parenthood isn’t something that you can buy on a contract. It’s a biological process when a man and a woman conceive a child together, preferably in the marriage bed. Naturally, if manipulative man-made technology didn’t exist to corrupt the conception process, it would be the egg ‘donor’ who would carry the child, birth the child, fall deeply in love with the child and raise the child. She has my eyes, my ears, my nose, and my personality. Therefore, she is my mother. But don’t take my word for it. Why don’t you do yourself a favor and research the medical definition of a mother yourself? Does it say anything about how contracts and money decide parentage? Tell me.”

“…I see her and my father every time I look in the mirror. I see her smile, her laugh, and her strong will. You know what I don’t see? I don’t see the woman who bought me from a bank and forced me into her womb without my permission. And I definitely do not see the money and the contracts hiding my mother’s features. Sorry.”[45]

Conclusion

To protect the rights of children to life, the rights to their genetic mothers and fathers, and to protect the dignity of both women and children, there must be more restrictive legislation passed on IVF. Before there can be a push for an outright ban on IVF, steps must be taken to progress towards a culture that respects life at all stages. We must first pass laws that ban experimentation and gene editing on embryonic persons. For this to occur, IVF clinics must restrict the number of embryos created at once to not have leftover embryos to discard, freeze, or donate. It is unacceptable for doctors to promote the opinion that “around 15 eggs may be the best number to aim for in an IVF cycle.” [46] Furthermore, if a person does not want multiple children, there must be restrictions for the number of embryos transferred to the mother at once to reduce the likelihood of selective reduction.

As for embryo adoption, for embryos currently in limbo, the genetic parents of these human beings must take responsibility for the human lives they have created and transfer as many of their children as is safely possible to give them a chance at life. If parents refuse to transfer their children, they must be buried with the respect they deserve. While I know how cruel it seems to say “these children shouldn’t be given a chance to continue living by being adopted,” (and I, of course, believe embryos for use in IVF and developing fetuses are both equally human beings and one should not be put before the other) since embryo adoption intentionally contributes to, and inherently contains within it, the distortion of the familial unit in the same way as surrogacy and gamete donation do, I can’t justify the practice. I see no moral solution whatsoever to resolve the issue of spare embryos since embryo adoption is a lose-lose situation.

Lastly, to preserve the most healthy familial structure, laws must be passed that ban the use of donor gametes, whether through unmarried persons, LGBT couples, or married couples. There should be no legality to the intentional fashioning of children who will intentionally be deprived of being known, loved, and raised by their genetic mothers and fathers.

[1] Maridel Reyes, “New law in New York means most insurance plans will now cover IVF,” New York Post, last modified October 7, 2019, https://nypost.com/2019/10/07/new-law-in-new-york-means-most-insurance-plans-will-now-cover-ivf/?utm_source=email_sitebuttons&utm_medium=site%20buttons&utm_campaign=site%20buttons.

[2] Amy Sokolow, “The VA doesn’t cover fertility treatments for unmarried veterans or same-sex couples. Some want to change that,” USA Today, last modified August 21, 2020, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/08/21/veterans-groups-say-va-should-offer-ivf-unmarried-same-sex-couples/3371635001/?fbclid=IwAR2wDbwcPZZulP-fH4cgIUUBSIeyzu1ynyLX38sxg2ANx0vm8YHE-T1Yg84.

[3] Katie Mulvaney, “‘Equal Parentage’ bill is signed into law by governor,” Providence Journal, last modified July 22, 2020, https://www.providencejournal.com/news/20200721/lsquoequal-parentagersquo-bill-is-signed-into-law-by-governor.

[4] Katie Breckenridge, “Reproductive Technologies and the One Flesh Marriage Union,” Society of St. Sebastian, last modified March 21, 2019, https://www.societyofstsebastian.org/copy-of-sebastian-s-point-31?fbclid=IwAR2FsRHrrVOQdi-IfxrlhCzaJFlYsEgGb-keY7NnNERQj68l5P2lThXVmJk.

[5] Counsel for Amicus Curiae, “Brief of Amicus Curiae Illinois Right to Life Supporting Respondent-Cross-Petitioner, The Supreme Court of the United States, https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/18/18-1323/127876/20200108112933032_200108%20-%20IRTL%20Amicus%20Brief%20-%20Gee.pdf.

[6] Katie Breckenridge, “Reproductive Technologies and the One Flesh Marriage Union,” Society of St. Sebastian, last modified March 21, 2019, https://www.societyofstsebastian.org/copy-of-sebastian-s-point-31?fbclid=IwAR2FsRHrrVOQdi-IfxrlhCzaJFlYsEgGb-keY7NnNERQj68l5P2lThXVmJk.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Matthew Martellus, “IVF: The Untold Frozen Holocaust,” Abolish Human Abortion, last modified November 24, 2014, http://blog.abolishhumanabortion.com/2014/11/.

[11] Shoshanna Solomon, “Startup hopes to use its IVF-predictive software against coronavirus,” The Times of Israel, last modified June 21, 2020, https://www.timesofisrael.com/startup-hopes-to-use-its-ivf-predictive-software-against-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR2cfimCf4zW1mtxNCRX43sFMJgWDIspWqbin0rsWG3Fem7DYCdq0GIqFyo#gs.gkuzhb.

[12] Care New England Health System, “Embryo Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT),” https://fertility.womenandinfants.org/treatment/genetic-testing.

[13] Andrew Hough, “1.7 million human embryos created for IVF thrown away,” The Telegraph, last modified December 31, 2012, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/9772233/1.7-million-human-embryos-created-for-IVF-thrown-away.html.

[14] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “ART Success Rates,” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, last modified September 2, 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/art/artdata/index.html.

[15] Pavone, Mary Ellen, Joy Innes, Jennifer Hirshfeld-CytronRalph Kazer, and John Zhang, “Comparing thaw survival, implantation and live birth rates from cryopreserved zygotes, embryos and blastocysts,” Journal of human reproductive sciences, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136065/#:~:text=The%20survival%20rate%20was%2069,%2C%20and%2014%25%20for%20blastocysts.

[16] Emily Mullin, “Scientists Edited Human Embryos in the Lab, and It Was a Disaster,” Medium, last modified June 16, 2020, https://onezero.medium.com/scientists-edited-human-embryos-in-the-lab-and-it-was-a-disaster-9473918d769d.

[17] Micaiah Bilger, “Scientists Edited Genes of Unborn Babies. When the Experiment Failed, They Killed the Babies,” LifeNews, last modified June 18, 2020, https://www.lifenews.com/2020/06/18/scientists-edited-genes-of-unborn-babies-when-the-experiment-failed-they-killed-the-babies/?.

[18] Debora L. Spar, “The Poly-Parent Households Are Coming,” The New York Times, last modified August 12, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/12/opinion/ivg-reproductive-technology.html.

[19] Olivia Blair, “Chrissy Teigen defends selecting gender of her baby during IVF after backlash,” Independent, last modified February 24, 2016, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/chrissy-teigen-john-legend-baby-ivf-a6893621.html.

[20] The Week, “Aborting boys: Is it wrong to hold out for a girl?,” The Week Publications, last modified January 14, 2011, https://theweek.com/articles/488053/aborting-boys-wrong-hold-girl.

[21] Jane Ridley, “Couple that wants to swap girl embryo for boy may have found a trading partner,” New York Post, last modified November 10, 2018, https://nypost.com/2018/11/10/couple-hoping-to-swap-girl-embryo-for-boy-may-have-found-a-trading-partner/.

[22] Samantha Wiessing, “Children Created via ART at Increased Risk for Intellectual Disabilities,” Them Before Us, last modified January 4, 2019, https://thembeforeus.com/ivf-health-costs-to-children/.

[23] Ian Sample, “IVF babies have greater risk of complications, study finds,” The Guardian, last modified January 8, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/08/ivf-babies-risk-complications-study.

[24] James Chapman, “Child health problems linked to IVF,” Daily Mail, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-180379/Child-health-problems-linked-IVF.html.

[25] Lu, Yue-hong, Ning Wang, and Fan Jin, “Long-term follow-up of children conceived through assisted reproductive technology,” Journal of Zhejiang University. Science. B., last modified May 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3650450/.

[26] Kristen Fischer, “Children Born Via IVF May Face Higher Health Risks as They Get Older,” Healthline, last modified September 17, 2018, https://www.healthline.com/health-news/children-born-via-ivf-face-higher-health-risks#4.

[27] Katie Breckenridge, “Reproductive Technologies and the One Flesh Marriage Union,” Society of St. Sebastian, last modified March 21, 2019, https://www.societyofstsebastian.org/copy-of-sebastian-s-point-31?fbclid=IwAR2FsRHrrVOQdi-IfxrlhCzaJFlYsEgGb-keY7NnNERQj68l5P2lThXVmJk.

[28] Courtney Hutchison, “Labor of Love: Woman Carries Her Daughter’s Baby,” ABC News, last modified February 14, 2011, https://abcnews.go.com/Health/WomensHealth/surrogate-grandmother-woman-birth-grandson-61/story?id=12912270.

[29] Georgia Witkin, “Is It a Good Idea to Use a Relative as a Sperm or Egg Donor?,” Psychology Today, last modified July 3, 2019, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-chronicles-infertility/201907/is-it-good-idea-use-relative-sperm-or-egg-donor.

[30] Katie Breckenridge, “Women are More Than Incubators: Why Surrogacy is Morally Problematic,” Society of St Sebastian, last modified November 20, 2019, https://www.societyofstsebastian.org/copy-of-sebastian-s-point-63?fbclid=IwAR0FrqkpDSJRjqeCqMnHOQfcfGz5PLysqT29CdlxpaDoexsRuvZ4qgHdrow.

[31] Catherine Lynch, “Submission to Surrogacy Inquiry,” Academia, last modified February 1, 2016, https://www.academia.edu/32034302/Submission_to_Surrogacy_Inquiry_docx.

[32] Katie Mulvaney, “‘Equal Parentage’ bill is signed into law by governor,” Providence Journal, last modified July 22, 2020, https://www.providencejournal.com/news/20200721/lsquoequal-parentagersquo-bill-is-signed-into-law-by-governor.

[33] Katie Breckenridge, “Virginia HB 1979 Empowers “Intent to Parent” to Replace Biological Parenthood,” Society of St. Sebastian, last modified July 17, 2019, https://www.societyofstsebastian.org/copy-of-sebastian-s-point-49?fbclid=IwAR3pkRI5XcXFn1b0SuNIZqSlJG3w6DQWThY4T5tF49V58U5zZooEcY9dnHY.

[34] Genevieve Roberts, “Why solo mums like me should be eligible for free IVF on the NHS,” The Sun, last modified August 25, 2020, https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/12488955/single-mums-eligible-free-ivf-on-nhs/.

[35] Children’s Bureau, “A Father’s Impact on Child Development,” Child Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Welfare Services, https://www.all4kids.org/news/blog/a-fathers-impact-on-child-development/.
[36] Katie Breckenridge, “Virginia HB 1979 Empowers “Intent to Parent” to Replace Biological Parenthood,” Society of St. Sebastian, last modified July 17, 2019, https://www.societyofstsebastian.org/copy-of-sebastian-s-point-49?fbclid=IwAR3pkRI5XcXFn1b0SuNIZqSlJG3w6DQWThY4T5tF49V58U5zZooEcY9dnHY.

[37] Erica Komisar, “Just be there: Why moms should stay with their children in their early years,” New York Daily News, last modified May 14, 2017, https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/moms-stay-children-early-years-article-1.3160717.

[38] National Embryo Donation Center, “Adoption,” National Embryo Donation Center,  https://www.embryodonation.org/adoption/.

[39] Katy Faust, “Why Embryo Adoption Damages Children’s Rights,” Them Before Us, last modified December 5, 2019, https://thembeforeus.com/why-embryo-adoption-damages-childrens-rights/.

[40] McCallum, Fiona, Sarah Keeley, “Embryo donation families: A follow-up in middle childhood,” Academia, https://www.academia.edu/24964506/Embryo_donation_families_A_follow_up_in_middle_childhood?email_work_card=minimal-title.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Kathleen LaBounty, “At the age of 8, I learned about my conception history,” Them Before Us, last modified April 15, 2017, https://thembeforeus.com/kathleen-labounty/.

[43] Elizabeth Howard, “I don’t have a father, or the sense of identity that goes with one,” Them Before Us, last modified January 3, 2018, https://thembeforeus.com/elizabeth-howard-part-1/.

[44] Alana Newman, “The Overlooked Fatherless: One Donor-Conceived Woman’s Story,” Institute for Family Studies, last modified October 26, 2016, https://ifstudies.org/blog/the-overlooked-fatherless-one-donor-conceived-womans-story.

[45] Anonymous Us, “‘Please stop saying mother/father’ A response,” Anonymous Us, last modified May 20, 2015, https://anonymousus.org/please-stop-saying-motherfather-a-response/.

[46] European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, “15 eggs is the perfect number needed to achieve a live birth after IVF, study suggests,” ScienceDaily, last modified May 13, 2011, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110510211605.htm.

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