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REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES

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Perhaps you dream of having a baby but struggle with infertility. Maybe you have biological children but are considering adoption to build your family. In this guidebook written by a veteran journalist-turned-adoptive father, learn everything you need to know about the embryo adoption process from your first call with an agency or fertility clinic to bringing baby home from the hospital. Told from a Christian perspective using personal, funny and downright jaw-dropping anecdotes from the author’s own adoption experience, this book will set your mind at ease by providing a clear roadmap for your adoption journey. Each chapter begins with a summary list of key themes and ends with a series of discussion questions designed to help prospective adoptive couples talk openly their hopes, fears and dreams throughout the adoption process. Packed with encouragement and advice that will save you precious energy, time and money on the road to adoption, this book will help loving moms and dads transform their parenting, bring precious embryo babies to term and affirm life in the era of in vitro fertilization.

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A leading expert on public bioethics advocates for a new conception of human identity in American law and policy.

The natural limits of the human body make us vulnerable and therefore dependent, throughout our lives, on others. Yet American law and policy disregard these stubborn facts, with statutes and judicial decisions that presume people to be autonomous, defined by their capacity to choose. As legal scholar O. Carter Snead points out, this individualistic ideology captures important truths about human freedom, but it also means that we have no obligations to each other unless we actively, voluntarily embrace them. Under such circumstances, the neediest must rely on charitable care. When it is not forthcoming, law and policy cannot adequately respond.

What It Means to Be Human makes the case for a new paradigm, one that better represents the gifts and challenges of being human. Inspired by the insights of Alasdair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor, Snead proposes a vision of human identity and flourishing that supports those who are profoundly vulnerable and dependent—children, the disabled, and the elderly. To show how such a vision would affect law and policy, he addresses three complex issues in bioethics: abortion, assisted reproductive technology, and end-of-life decisions. Avoiding typical dichotomies of conservative-versus-liberal and secular-versus-religious, Snead recasts debates over these issues and situates them within his framework of embodiment and dependence. He concludes that, if the law is built on premises that reflect the fully lived reality of life, it will provide support for the vulnerable, including the unborn, mothers, families, and those nearing the end of their lives. In this way, he argues, policy can ensure that people have the care they need in order to thrive.

In this provocative and consequential book, Snead rethinks how the law represents human experiences so that it might govern more wisely, justly, and humanely.