New Reproductive Technologies and Genetic Relatedness

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At the heart of the use of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) is the attempt to realise a commonly anticipated future – the opportunity, if desired, to create and raise a genetically related child. For some, existing ARTs cannot assist, yet upcoming ones such as in vitro derived gametes (IVGs) may do so. However, the desire for genetically related children is frequently critiqued in debates about new ARTs. Since most heterosexual couples can have such children without assistance, and same-sex couples are equally likely to desire them, this is highly problematic. This article presents the moral and legal case for the legalisation of IVGs, if and when judged sufficiently safe. It analyses development of the concept of ‘treatment’ in relevant UK law; argues that it is reasonable (that is, not unreasonable) to value the project of procreative parenting, thereby refuting the arguments that there is a moral duty to adopt, or that the alternatives of adoption or donor conception should suffice; explores legal recognition of the ordinary place of reproduction in social life; and considers the implications of the rights to private and family life and to non-discrimination, particularly under the European Convention on Human Rights, highlighting the disabling nature of infertility.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages37
JournalModern Law Review
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2023


  • Assisted reproductive technologies, genetic relatedness, adoption, donor conception, autonomy, disability, discrimination


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