How the Internet is Reshaping Assisted Reproduction: From Donor Offspring Registries to Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing

Prof. Andrea Braverman, PhD

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Mississippi Room, Coffman Memorial Union

CONSORTLV filmstrip GIF 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.


Mark Damario MD
Mark Damario, MD 
Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health
Medical Director, Reproductive Medicine Center 
University of Minnesota

Michele Goodwin, JD, LLM

Michele Goodwin, JD, LLM
Everett Fraser Professor in Law
Professor, Medical School
Professor, School of Public Health
University of Minnesota





Continuing Legal Education credit (CLE) was approved (1.5 hours). 

Andrea Braverman

Andrea M. Braverman, PhD, is Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Braverman is the Director of Psychological and Complementary Services at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey. Braverman matriculated both masters and doctorate degrees in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania in addition to earning her Masters in English literature, and completed an internship in clinical psychology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She is a licensed psychologist, practicing in Pennsylvania.