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The Infant in my Womb Leaped for Joy

Helen Alvare

At the beginning of the 21st century, it is impossible to avoid news reports on the subject of the “changing American family.” The legalization of same-sex marriage and civil unions, high rates of cohabitation, divorce, remarriage, and out-of-wedlock parenting are all altering many people’s understanding of the nature and purposes of family life. One lesser-noted phenomenon, changing people’s experience of family from the inside out, is the increasing use of assisted reproductive technologies (“ARTs”). In the United States alone, there are thousands of fertility clinics, sperm banks, egg brokers and surrogate mothers annually producing about 10,000 children.

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