One in ten American couples can't get pregnant, so the infertility business is booming. Parent wannabe's are willing to pay a hefty price for fertility — donor eggs can fetch $5000. But what if they get more babies than they bargained for? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the latest advancements in reproductive technology and the thorny ethical questions they raise.
Bioethicist Lori Andrews thinks infertility technology is moving way too fast. She calls it the Wild West of Medicine and says the resulting multiple births are a public health risk. Her book is "The Clone Age: Twenty Years on the Forefront of Reproductive Technologies." Also, writer Paulette Bates Alden tells Steve Paulson about her struggle with infertility and how she eventually came to terms with it. Her memoir is "Crossing the Moon: A Journey through Infertility."SEGMENT 2:
Richard Rawlins is the director of the In Vitro Fertilization Laboratory at Rush Medical Center in Chicago. He tells Jim Fleming how his lab can sort sperm to help prospective parents choose the sex of their offspring. Also, anthropologist Susan Greenhalgh tells Judith Strasser that the one child policy, on top of a strong cultural bias for sons, has created a crisis in China. People are using ultrasound to determine the sex of their of their fetuses and aborting the girls. One result, beside the missing girls, is that poor young men in rural areas can't find brides.SEGMENT 3:
Andrea Warren, journalist and author of the children's book "Orphan Train Rider: One Boy's True Story," tells Jim Fleming that between 1854 and 1930, orphaned and unwanted children in New York were loaded onto trains and shipped west to be selected by mid-Western families who would adopt them wherever the train stopped. Also, we hear from Howard Heard - one of the children, who still lives 50 miles from where he got off the train.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 99-01-17-B.
Page Design and Management by Jim Fleming at Wisconsin Public Radio.
© Copyright 1999 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.