Aggregated News

A friend of mine recently questioned my interest in a custody battle covered on the evening news. A surrogate mother who had agreed to gestate a fetus for a fee decided she wanted to keep the baby. "Why are you always so fascinated by those stories?" he asked. "They have nothing to do with Black people." By "those stories" he meant the growing number of controversies occupying the headlines that involve children created by new methods of reproduction. More and more Americans are using a variety of technologies to facilitate conception, ranging from simple artificial insemination to expensive, advanced procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and egg donation.*

In one sense my friend is right: the images that mark these controversies appear to have little to do with Black people and issues of race. Think about the snapshots that promote the new reproduction. The always show white people. And the baby produced often has blond hair and blue eyes -- as if to emphasize her racial purity. The infertile suburban housewife's agonizing attempts to...