74 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 793 (1999)
Assisted Reproduction and the Frustration of Genetic Affinity: Interest, Injury, and Damages

handle is hein.journals/nylr74 and id is 807 raw text is: ASSISTED REPRODUCTION AND THE
FRUSTRATION OF GENETIC AFFINITY:
INTEREST, INJURY, AND DAMAGES
FRED NORTON*
In 1978, Louise Brown became the first person born through in
vitro fertilization-the world's first test-tube baby.' Since then, the
use of reproductive technology has grown dramatically. In 1996
alone, 64,036 assisted reproductive technology procedures were per-
formed in the United States,2 resulting in the births of over 20,000
babies.3 There are at least 300 fertility clinics throughout 45 states,
Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.4
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) includes all those proce-
dures in which eggs or sperm are removed from the body of a prospec-
tive parent and subsequently transferred into the body of the woman
who wiil carry the baby.5 Of these procedures, the best known and
most frequently used is in vitro fertilization (IVF), in which a woman's
* Numerous staff members of the New York University Law Review provided in-
sightful commentary on earlier drafts of this Note. The author would particularly like to
thank Iris Bennett, Lewis Bossing, Jane Small, and Monica Washington for their dedicated
and expert editorial assistance.
1 See Richard M. Weintraub, Frst Test-Tube Baby Born in British Hospital, Wash.
Post, July 26,1978, at Al; Test-Tube Baby Pioneers Disclose First Details, Vash. Post, Aug.
12, 1978, at A17. For a more extensive contemporary account of the event and its per-
ceived implications, see Peter Gwynne et al., All About That Baby, Newsweek, Aug. 7,
1978, at 66.
2 See Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1996 Assisted Reproductive Tech-
nology Success Rates: National Summary and Fertility Clinic Reports 6 (1998) [hereinafter
CDC Report]. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define assisted reproduc-
tive technology (ART) as [a]ll treatments or procedures that involve the handling of
human eggs and sperm for the purpose of helping a woman become pregnant. Id. at 339.
The number given above includes all ART cycles: instances in which an ART procedure
or treatment is carried out, those in which a woman has undergone ovarian stimulation
intending to have an ART procedure, or, in the case of frozen embryos, those in which
frozen embryos have been thawed for the purpose of implantation. See id.
3 See id. at 6.
4 See id. at 37-336 (reporting success rates and other data from fertility clinics in every
state except Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Montana, and Wyoming).
5 See id. at 339. Other procedures for treating infertility, not relevant to this Note,
include hormone therapy (to stimulate production of eggs or sperm), use of antibiotics (to
treat reproductive tract infections), traditional surgical techniques, and microsurgery. See
Office of Technology Assessment, 100th Cong., Infertility. Medical and Social Choices 49,
118-25 (May 1988) [hereinafter OTA, Infertility].
793

Imaged with the Permission of N.Y.U. Law Review

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