IVF and the New Eugenics

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The addition of a child into a family’s home is a happy occasion. Unfortunately, some families are unable to have a child due to unforeseen problems, and they must pursue other means than natural pregnancy. Some couples adopt and other couples follow a different path; they utilize in vitro fertilization or surrogate motherhood. The process is complicated, unreliable, but ultimately can give the parents the gift of a child they otherwise could not have had. At the same time, as the process becomes more and more advanced and scientists are able to predict the outcome of the technique, the choice of what child is born is placed in the hands of the parents. Instead of waiting to see if the child had the mother’s eyes, the father’s hair or Grandma’s heart problem, the parents and doctors can select the best eggs and the best sperm to create the perfect child. Many see the rise of in vitro fertilization as the second coming of the Eugenics movement of the 19th and early 20th century. A process that is able to bring joy to so many parents is also seen as deciding who is able to reproduce and what child is worthy of birthing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.1 million married couples experience troubles with infertility. Infertility is defined as trying for over a year and not becoming pregnant for women under 35 and trying for six months for women over 35. The cause of the infertility is a male factor one third of the instances, female another third, ten percent of the cause is a combination of both male and female factors and the remaining twenty percent is not apparent. In vitro fertilization is a process that tries to eliminate the problems inherent in the mother and father. It involves an egg is fer... ... middle of paper ... ...yle/women/families/article1706614.ece>. "Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization (FISH) Fact Sheet." National Human Genome Research Institute. 15 Nov. 2007. National Institutes of Health. . "Infertility." NCHS - FASTATS. 06 Oct. 2006. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. . "Infertility." OSF Healthcare System. 2007. . “IVF Patient Numbers and Success Rates Continue to Rise." Human Fertlisation & Embryology Authority. Dec. 2007. . "Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Fact Sheet." National Human Genome Research Institute. 10 Dec. 2007. National Institutes of Health. . "Understanding IVF with in-Vitro 101." Simply IVF. 2007. .
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