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Baby Markets
Money and the New Politics of Creating Families


Michele Goodwin, Martha Ertman, Kimberly Krawiec, Mary Anne Case, Sara Dorow, Ruth Arlene-Howe, Elizabeth Bartholet, Jose Gabilondo, Mary Eschelbach Hansen, Daniel Pollack, Naomi Cahn, Maggie Gallagher, Debora Spar, John Robertson, June Carbone, Nanette Elster, Lisa Ikemota, Michelle Oberman, Viviana Zelizer, Sonia Suter
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  • Date Published: May 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521735100

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About the Authors
  • Creating families can no longer be described by heterosexual reproduction in the intimacy of a couple's home and the privacy of their bedroom. To the contrary, babies can be brought into families through complex matrixes involving lawyers, coordinators, surrogates, 'brokers', donors, sellers, endocrinologists, and without any traditional forms of intimacy. In direct response to the need and desire to parent, men, women, and couples - gay and straight - have turned to viable, alternative means: baby markets. This book examines the ways in which Westerners create families through private, market processes. From homosexual couples skirting Mother Nature by going to the assisted reproductive realm and buying the sperm or ova that will complete the reproductive process, to Americans travelling abroad to acquire children in China, Korea, or Ethiopia, market dynamics influence how babies and toddlers come into Western families. Michele Goodwin and a group of contributing experts explore how financial interests, aesthetic preferences, pop culture, children's needs, race, class, sex, religion, and social customs influences the law and economics of baby markets.

    • Offers daring analysis of contemporary reproduction
    • Supplies an honest analysis of the challenges in creating families through adoption and assisted reproduction
    • Unpacks the thorny issues of race, class, and sexuality in the neopolitics of procreation
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Michele Goodwin has done a masterful job of weaving together a wide range of contrasting points of view in law, policy, economics, and philosophy on the timely topic of [baby markets] in our contemporary post-Brave New World society. As a person who defends the interests of families after formation but who had only passing knowledge of reproductive technology and developments in marketing of component baby-making parts, I learned a great deal from this cutting-edge work.' Diane L. Redleaf, Executive Director, Family Defense Center, Chicago

    'Today children are conceived, born, and adopted in the marketplace - like it or not. By collecting a wide range of cutting-edge perspectives by leading experts on reproductive technologies, adoption, and economics, Baby Markets is an essential resource for understanding how these markets function as well as their profound implications for our society and the world.' Dorothy Roberts, Northwestern University, and author of Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty

    'Baby Markets is a groundbreaking, must-read in today's growing era of adoption, surrogacy, and 'non-traditional' families. Goodwin does an excellent job of integrating a broad array of authors and material in a manner that crystallizes the issues, and highlights the challenges and controversies involved. I have no doubt that Baby Markets will be increasingly and directly relevant in public policy decision-making and legal jurisprudence. The analysis of law and economics, social mores, parental rights, ethics and baby taboos should be required reading for anyone interested in the supply and demand for children in modern times.' Steve P. Calandrillo, Charles I. Stone Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law

    'The family is not private, and contemporary baby markets in transnational adoption and artificial reproductive technologies underscore this fact. The question is not whether but how the law has supported the commodification of family and kinship - racial and gendered enterprises of taste and choice - and what can be done about it now. Goodwin's brave and eye-opening collection paves the way for an intelligent and ethical response.' David L. Eng, University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Feeling of Kinship: Queer Liberalism and the Racialization of Intimacy

    'Financial considerations are becoming ever more important in adoption and new reproductive technologies. Is this good or bad? How will it change the way we think about babies and the way we think about families? Baby Markets brings together some of the best thinkers on these subjects, and creates a vibrant exchange of ideas. It is the volume one must read for this increasingly important and controversial topic.' Brian H. Bix, Frederick W. Thomas Professor of Law and Philosophy, University of Minnesota

    'Goodwin's Baby Markets is indispensable reading for anyone interested in learning how something so basic as having a baby has been transformed by the intersection of commerce and technology. These essays illuminate the promise and perils of this new way of becoming a parent better than anything else that I have read.' Rick Banks, Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

    'A welcome entry to the important conversation about new ways of creating parenthood. This book gathers a stellar cast of scholars to consider the marketization of babies through ART, embryo and egg donation, international and transracial adoption. Recognizing that this train has already left the station, the authors analyze, in short and readable entries from a variety of perspectives, the economics of these new arrangements and revisit the question [of] whether this commodification is an entirely unfortunate development - or whether, and how, harms associated with it may be controlled while allowing the benefits to infertile heterosexuals and to gays and lesbians who desire children.' Cynthia Grant Bowman, Dorothea S. Clarke Professor of Feminist Jurisprudence, Cornell Law School

    'Baby Markets offers a radical critique of a cherished principle - that commodification devalues human life and is a moral affront. Unafraid to ask hard questions and challenge fundamental assumptions, the authors show us how the making and procuring of babies has become a multi-billion dollar industry deeply influenced by the wealth and social status of those seeking progeny. With equal parts economics and ethics, calculation and compassion, the essays in this volume provide a trove of insights that map a new field of study in a brilliant and provocative way.' Eric A. Feldman, University of Pennsylvania Law School

    'Whoever said 'you don't choose your family' never read this book. Goodwin and the authors take us through riveting analyses of how law, technology, markets, and crime have functioned together or individually to shape new constructions of families and, in some cases, destroy others. A must read!' Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Professor of Law and Charles M. and Marion J. Kierscht Scholar, University of Iowa College of Law

    'Baby Markets is an outstanding book. Professor Goodwin has gathered a group of the brightest legal minds to weigh in on subjects that strike at the very heart of our human existence. Through a provocative and far reaching exploration of how individuals construct families in the marketplace(s), this text provides critical insight into the politics of race, class, gender and sexuality. Moreover, the intersecting forces that frame baby markets in today's world: technology, policy, litigation, legislation, economics, transnationalism, identity, and desire, are explicated with remarkable clarity and rigor.' Imani Perry, Princeton University

    'In Baby Markets, Professor Goodwin and her colleagues provide an unflinching account of the largely unregulated world of reproduction and adoption. They begin by exposing the vast extent of world markets for these services, expertly assessing their troubling racial and national implications. More surprisingly, several chapters suggest the possibilities these same markets hold for poverty-relief, equality, and justice. This varied collection is for anyone interested in the complicated and controversial world of [twenty-first-century] family creation.' Jill R. Horwitz, Louis and Myrtle Moskowitz Research Professor of Business and Law, University of Michigan Law School

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521735100
    • length: 338 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. What Makes a Market?: Efficiency, Accountability, and Reliability in Getting the Babies We Want:
    1. Baby markets Michele Goodwin
    2. The upside of baby markets Martha Ertman
    3. Price and pretense in the baby market Kimberly Krawiec
    4. Bringing feminist fundamentalism to the US baby markets Mary Anne Case
    5. Producing kinship through the marketplaces of transnational adoption Sara Dorow
    Part II. Space and Place: Reproducing and Reframing Social Norms of Race, Class, Gender and Otherness:
    6. Adoption laws and practices: serving whose interests? Ruth Arlene-Howe
    7. International adoption: the human rights issues Elizabeth Bartholet
    8. Heterosexuality as a prenatal social problem: why parents and courts have a taste for heterosexuality Jose Gabilondo
    9. Transracial adoption of black children: an economic analysis Mary Eschelbach Hansen and Daniel Pollack
    Part III. Spectrums and Discourses: Rights, Regulations, and Choice:
    10. Reproducing dreams Naomi Cahn
    11. Why do parents have rights? The problem of kinship in liberal thought Maggie Gallagher
    12. Free markets, free choice? A market approach to reproductive rights Debora Spar
    13. Commerce and regulation in the assisted reproduction industry John Robertson
    14. Ethics within markets or a market for ethics: can disclosure of sperm donor identity be effectively mandated? June Carbone
    Part IV. The Ethics of Baby and Embryo Markets:
    15. Egg donation for research and reproduction: the compensation conundrum Nanette Elster
    16. Eggs, nests, and stem cells Lisa Ikemota
    17. Where stem cell research meets abortion politics: limits on buying and selling human oocytes Michelle Oberman
    Part V. Tenuous Grounds and Baby Taboos:
    18. Risky exchanges Viviana Zelizer
    19. Giving in to baby markets Sonia Suter.

  • Editor

    Michele Bratcher Goodwin, University of Minnesota
    Michele Bratcher Goodwin, B.A., J.D., LL.M., is the Everett Fraser Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota, where she holds joint appointments in the Medical School and the School of Public Health. In 2008, she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago Law School. She has been a visiting scholar at Berkeley School of Law in the Center for the Study of Law and Society. She was a postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University, conducting research on the antebellum politics of sex and law. Her op-ed commentaries have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Sun Times and Forbes Magazine.


    Michele Goodwin, Martha Ertman, Kimberly Krawiec, Mary Anne Case, Sara Dorow, Ruth Arlene-Howe, Elizabeth Bartholet, Jose Gabilondo, Mary Eschelbach Hansen, Daniel Pollack, Naomi Cahn, Maggie Gallagher, Debora Spar, John Robertson, June Carbone, Nanette Elster, Lisa Ikemota, Michelle Oberman, Viviana Zelizer, Sonia Suter

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