The Case for Regulating Collaborative Reproduction: A Children's Rights Perspective

Helen M. Alvare

George Mason University School of Law

Harvard Journal on Legislation, Vol. 40, No. 1, Winter, 2003

The greater part of popular and scholarly commentary on the subject of the new reproductive technologies takes one of two general themes: the "miracle of technology" theme, or the "risks to the adult participants" theme. There is too little consideration of the results for children of family formation by means of the new reproductive technologies. This is especially the case with the group of technologies that might be grouped under the heading of "collaborative reproduction," the use of the eggs, sperm, or embryos of a third party to create a child biologically unrelated to at least one intending legal parent. Very little state or federal regulation exists which takes the well-being of such technologically conceived children into account. This dearth is particularly anomalous in the current family law environment wherein increasingly strong preferences are asserted in favor of maintaining biological ties between children and their parents, and in favor of two-parent households. Collaborative reproduction directly challenges each of these preferences. The continuing, unregulated practice of collaborative reproduction also appears to accept a number of the premises of the argument for the cloning of human beings. With respect to collaborative reproduction, this article suggests the effects it might have upon children, considers and rejects the possible constitutional arguments against further regulation of it, articulates the invitation it offers to cloning, and offers several possible regulatory responses to the problems it poses to children and families.

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Date posted: May 6, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Alvare, Helen M., The Case for Regulating Collaborative Reproduction: A Children's Rights Perspective. Harvard Journal on Legislation, Vol. 40, No. 1, Winter, 2003. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=404680

Contact Information

Helen M. Alvare (Contact Author)
George Mason University School of Law ( email )
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
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