frontline: making babies

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Chicago Tribune Steve Johnson

"Frontline turns in a sharp landscape survey Tuesday, peering through its lens at the frontier world of reproductive science. 'Making Babies' deftly guides viewers through the rapidly shifting and barely regulated realm, raising both hopes that every couple who wants a baby may soon be able to have one and fears that, as one ethicist warns, we are in danger of shifting the paradigm: from babies as a treasured gift to a carefully selected consumer product."

Knight Ridder: Ellen Gray

"If you believe, as many do, that the right to reproduce belongs to absolutely everyone (with enough money, that is), then you may cheer fertility specialist Sam Wood's prediction that in 20 years, 'virtually no couple will be unable to have a baby, even theirs genetically, except for those few that are at the extremes of reproductive life.'

Hold your applause till the end, please. There may be a prospective parent or two in 'Making Babies' who'll at least give you pause.

... Maybe it's the charming lesbian couple who spent months on the Internet choosing a sperm donor and who decided to implant one partner's egg into the other so that their child will have two mothers. Maybe it's the enthusiastic donor who's sold a half-dozen of her eggs to finance a car and a trip to Australia.

... don't relegate stories about sextuplets and designer the 'soft news' category. As a race, we are in the process of replacing survival of the fittest with a new model that says babies exist for the immediate satisfaction of their parents, nature's restrictions be damned.

That may really be a miracle. Or it could be the beginning of a disaster that will take generations to unfold. In any case, it's time to start paying attention."

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