IN SEARCH OF PARENTHOOD: Coping with Infertility and High-Tech Conception by Judith & Susan Borg Lasker

IN SEARCH OF PARENTHOOD: Coping with Infertility and High-Tech Conception

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A recap of new conception techniques with particular emphasis on their impact on couples or women who have tried or considered them (relatives, children, and the professionals involved were also interviewed). The ""high-tech"" methods examined include artificial insemination (with husband's, donor's, or sperm-bank semen), in vitro (test tube) fertilization, surrogate motherhood, and ovum transfer (which usually involves artificial insemination of a donor woman with the husband's semen--the resulting embryo is then implanted in the wife's uterus). Lasker and Borg describe each procedure along with its costs, success rate, advantages, disadvantages, and risks. They also quote extensively from couples or single women who had tried--or at least considered--one or more of the procedures. Of note are the high costs (in vitro fertilization comes to $4,000 or $5,000 per attempt--with a very low success rate) and the emotional strains on everyone involved. Many couples who face considerable flak from relatives and friends are also bewildered as to what to tell children conceived through a donor's sperm, a surrogate mother, or an ovum transfer. Fueling the dilemmas is hostility from religious groups and even from members of the women's movement who, among other things, foresee ""breeding brothels"" in which poor women are implanted with embryos conceived by wealthy couples. Here, the people who relate their experiences reveal that the road to high-tech parenthood is difficult, sometimes risky, and fraught with failure. Predictably, it was worth every sacrifice for those who succeed. For the one in five American couples with infertility problems, the voices in this book will be illuminating, sometimes chastening, and occasionally heartening.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Beacon