Beyond Biology: The Politics of Adoption & Reproduction
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CitationElizabeth Bartholet, Beyond Biology: The Politics of Adoption & Reproduction, 2 Duke J. Gender L. & Pol'y 5 (1995).
AbstractIt is exciting simply to be having this conference focused on adoption law and policy. I remember some nine years ago starting to plan a course dealing with adoption issues and wondering whether I would be able to justify its place in the Harvard Law School curriculum. It is also exciting to look around the room at the wonderfully diverse and knowledgeable group of people the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy gathered here to participate in these discussions of important issues involving adoption and the meaning of family. My topic today has to do with adoption and, more particularly, adoption in relation to reproduction. By reproduction I mean three different things: (1) traditional reproduction, or the production of a child through normal intercourse between one man and one woman; (2) infertility treatment, or the use of medical technology to assist a man and a woman to produce a child using his sperm and her egg and womb; and (3) a variety of child producing and parenting arrangements that I have collectively termed "technologic adoption." By the latter, I mean arrangements that result in the social equivalent of either step-parent adoptions or full adoptions, where the child is produced in order to be raised by one or more parents who will not be genetically or biologically related. I am referring to such practices as donor insemination, surrogacy, both in its "traditional" and gestational form, egg donation or sale, and embryo donation or sale. One thing I ...
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