Righting a Reproductive Wrong: A Statutory Tort Solution to Misrepresentation by Reproductive Tissue Providers
50 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2022 Last revised: 30 May 2023
Date Written: November 8, 2022
Fraud, misrepresentation, and other unfair trade practices plague the market for human reproductive tissue. The sale of sperm, eggs, and embryos is virtually unregulated in almost all states, and courts have been inhospitable to victims. As a result, children are born with genetic disorders that impose extreme financial and personal hardship. Proposals for direct government oversight have, for the most part, failed to gain traction, and litigation has yielded inadequate remedies.
This Article assesses these problems and proposes model legislation that would eliminate doctrinal obstacles to holding unscrupulous reproductive tissue providers liable. By making it easier for parents to bring tort claims, we aim to jump-start more effective government oversight and industry self-regulation. The proposed legislation is also responsive to political dynamics surrounding the abortion debate and, thus, stands a better chance of adoption than have prior proposals.
Keywords: assisted reproductive technology, sperm bank, tort liability, abortion politics, fraud
JEL Classification: I13, I14, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation