Rough sees the new reproductive technology, announced recently by scientists at the Harvard University-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital’s Vincent Center for Reproductive Medicine, as smacking of "the same cold, impersonal, isolating ‘solutions’ that force women to suit American business: induced labor, cesarean section, breast pumps, lactation stalls, expensive or insufficient day care and forced, sometimes permanent, career hiatus." She notes that “the United States is the world’s only developed economy without guaranteed paid maternity leave.” It is no coincidence that the United States also has the highest rate of voluntary infant adoptions.
|Both of the above line graphs are for women with normal reproductive function.|
While the new technology may prevent some adoptions by allowing some women to have "their own" child, science--including The Pill--certainly has induced many others to wait too long, thereby exacerbating demand for infants. By and large, the women who blog about the sorrow of infertility are not in their teens and twenties when fertility is almost never a problem. Yet far too many young women today are seemingly ignorant of this basic biological fact. The chart above shows that fertility starts dropping in our twenties, and by age 35, fertility is over taken by infertility. That's right around the time that "baby fever" becomes a medical "problem," rather than simply a physical reality. Aging happens.
In short, advances in technology cannot substitute for what's really needed for a happy and (re)productive society, family-friendly policies that encourage women to have babies when they are most fecund, and social policies that allow mothers the grace to keep them.