View Video Online Duration: 90 mins.
Prof. Braverman discussed how—in the traditional medical model—assisted reproductive technologies featured the doctor acting in the role of the primary decision-maker choosing what was in the best interests of the patient. The patients were passive participants in the building of their families—indeed, it was frequently the doctor or nurse who selected the sperm donor for an infertile couple.
In the past few decades, options for family building have grown. Intended parents have evolved from passive patients to informed consumers. Prof. Braverman argued that the biggest change is only now coming into view, as offspring themselves become active, seeking information about their conception, looking for information about their gamete donors, and trying to find other offspring who share the same donor. Prof. Braverman suggests that the growth of the Internet has allowed previously unheard-of access to information by individuals seeking to start families, by parents, and by offspring—whether through posting on boards, selection of gamete donors and surrogates, direct-to-consumer genetic testing, gamete-donor registries, or donor sibling registries. These developments challenge both the policy and practice of assisted reproduction. Prof. Braverman analyzed these changes, explored future implications for policy and practice, and discussed their importance for the practitioner, intended parents, and people conceived through the donor process.