The Baby Business: How Money, Science and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception
Despite legislation that claims to prohibit it, there is a thriving market for babies spreading across the globe. Fueled by rapid advances in reproductive medicine and the desperate desires of millions of would-be parents, the acquisition of childrenwhether through donated eggs, rented wombs, or cross-border adoptionhas become a multibillion dollar industry that has left science, law, ethics, and commerce deeply at odds.
In The Baby Business, Debora Spar argues that it is time to acknowledge the commercial truth about reproduction and to establish a standard that governs its transactions. In this fascinating behind-the-scenes account, she combines pioneering research and interviews with the industry’s top reproductive scientists and trailblazers to provide a first glimpse at how the industry works: who the baby-makers are, who makes money, how prices are set, and what defines the clientele. Fascinating stories illustrate the inner workings of market segments--including stem cell research, surrogacy, egg swapping, “designer babies,” adoption, and human cloning--as Spar explores the moral and legal challenges that industry players must address.
The first purely commercial look at an industry that deals in humanity’s most intimate issues, this book challenges us to consider the financial promise and ethical perils we’ll face as the baby business moves inevitably forward.