most new parents want to believe their progeny will be prodigies.What if new reproductive technologies allow some of them to put their money where their vicarious dreams are?
our question today is really not just about too many moms, but too many overbearing moms and dads and way too many sperm.
New reproductive technologies already fuel the confusion of children “who may have many Moms” not just because they’ve been multiply nurtured, parented, step-parented etc., but because one mom “donates an egg, another carries the embryo and a third mom raises the resulting child.” Interesting. I prefer to reserve the term Mom (or Dad) for the one who changes the diapers, dispenses the formula, hosts the sleepovers, and foots the bill for school and college. But there will surely be sticky issues to sort through. Let’s hope it doesn’t really come to lawsuits over mom’s bad egg shells.
Post-mortem sperm retrieval? Advance consent is the big issue there, but I remember a particular initiative to bank the sperm of nobelists. If that ever caught on there really would be a question about the ethical propriety of “cloning Abraham Lincoln” et al. “My Baby is a genius” is a clever song by Jessica Harper I know too well, because my first little genius used to wear it out. But it may not be such a great social engineering proposal...