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Infertility and the new babies

New technologies such as egg and sperm donation are replacing adoption as an alternative for childless couples. But as infertility rises, what are the consequences for children who are not genetically related to both their parents?

In the next century it will become increasingly unusual to grow up in a conventional family, with two parents biologically related to the children they bring up. The nuclear family has already been fractured by divorce and single parenthood, but the family will change even further because of infertility and new reproductive technologies.

In Britain, as in other western countries, about one in seven couples now seek help for fertility problems. The reasons for infertility range from disease to environmental factors, but there is a consensus among experts on the main reason why more women are having difficulty conceiving. Women’s…

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