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The Baby Business: How Money, Science and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception
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The Baby Business: How Money, Science and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  85 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
This is a young industry with staggering potential and daunting challenges. In the baby business no one wants to admit that they own a product, or sell a product, or even that a commercial transaction is taking place. Despite the ambiguities, it is a big market. Fertility procedures in the United States alone accounted for over $3 billion in 2002 and have mushroomed from t ...more
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Published February 12th 2006 by Harvard Business Press (first published February 1st 2006)
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Jun 08, 2013 Lightreads rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was a sign in the waiting room of a fertility clinic I was in a while ago that said, "One of our babies is born every X hours." I don't actually remember what the X was, but I remember sitting there, trying to stay calm, multiplying it out in my head and coming up with thousands and thousands of babies a year, and being just stunned.

When I first heard that about 1% of American babies born these days are the product of IVF conceptions, I thought that was extraordinarily high. Oh, those naiv
Dec 15, 2014 Kirk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
A well-researched overview of the different global markets (and potential markets) for reproduction: fertility clinics, IVF, cloning, designer babies, and adoption. Spar points out that many of us are reluctant to admit to ourselves that these markets exist because they deal with sensitive subjects (parents trying to have a child) and seem to commodify human life. She argues that whatever our feelings about the market, exist it does. Yet the sensitivity has left each of these industries largely ...more
A fascinating read about the reproductive industry that comes into play when couples can't conceive via the normal route. Spar is a Harvard professor and while she stays decidely on topic throughout, the book moved along nicely and wasn't overly dry. She explored everything from fertility drugs to IVF to egg donors, surrogacy, and adoption. She kept emotion to a minimum, while still acknowledging that the consumers of these services were dealing with one of the most difficult periods of their li ...more
Pubisher's Description:

"Despite legislation that claims to prohibit it, there is a thriving market for babies spreading across the globe. Fueled by rapid advances in reproductive medicine and the desperate desires of millions of would-be parents, the acquisition of children--whether through donated eggs, rented wombs, or cross-border adoption--has become a multibillion dollar industry that has left science, law, ethics, and commerce deeply at odds. In The Baby Business, Debora Spar argues that i
May 20, 2010 Xing rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very lucid, realistic look at the mechanisms underlying the generation and exchange of babies and the ingredients that go into their creation. Extensively researched and concepts soundly tied together, detailing the roles of policy-makers, NGOs and governments, international bodies, consumers, sellers, and end products.
Dives in at the boundaries and murky areas of legislation, teasing out conflicting issues, financial conundrums, and ethical constraints, highlighting the fact that fields such a
Jul 05, 2015 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
amazing, the book is only four years old and the preface is out of date.
"In 1996, a fifty-year-old law professor was impregnated..." (p. xi) now (2010) there are seventy-year-old women giving birth. this year, (or was it last?) a woman in LA gave bith to eight in one pregnancy.
"Will people protest when two lesbian mothers use cutting-edge techniques to conceive a child that is biologically "theirs"? Yes." (p. xviii) no, no one cares.
the book's preface barely had time for the ink to dry before i
Mar 12, 2016 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
No pictures or illustrations, which makes it a huge term paper. Well-researched and well-documented, not too hard to read, which makes it informative and credible.
This was a well-researched, well-written examination of the baby business. I found many parts of it very interesting - particularly the historical view of topics such as infertility, surrogacy, and adoption. Must admit to skipping the chapter on cloning in its entirety and only skimming the author's wrap-up chapter, but all in all, I enjoyed this book.
Oct 06, 2008 Chrystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-books
This book was pretty fascinating. It read a lot like a textbook or scientific article - full of information about the baby business in America. The topics range from cloning to adoption to IVF. It discussed the need for legislation to manage these businesses and discusses the moral and political implication of them all.
Wow. Fascinating look into the business of babies (In-Vitro, surrogacy, choosing genetic qualities of your child,adoption). Very very interesting. Its amazing to see what lengths people will go to have a child.
Mar 07, 2008 Nikki is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Just started, but find it extremely interesting so far. It's all about traditional commerce and how those rules don't apply to the business of making babies and what that means.
Aug 11, 2008 Kristen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've given up on trying to read this book - every time I return to it, I just get bored again. I think the topic would be interesting, but this particular book is just so dry.
Suzanne Van Horn
Mar 09, 2014 Suzanne Van Horn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: law
Nice primer on the social and moral concerns brought up by reproductive technologies but a lot of the rest of the content is outdated. Could use a second edition.
Jung Sun
I didn't get to finish and renew from the library, but would like to finish it eventually.
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