Workshop 3 - NRT and parenting
NRT and parenting
Workshop co-ordinators: Jean-Hugues Déchaux and Maks Banens
New reproductive techniques and their applications in ART raise questions about the very meaning of parenthood. Are we at the threshold of a new metamorphosis? Is the Euro-American model, based on the principle of exclusive bilateral parenting (one father, one mother) and on the assumption that the social parents are the biological parents, compatible with developments in ART? Attention will focus on three sets of questions:
• Given that biological parenthood can be technically shared between several protagonists, is a strictly bilateral conception of parenthood becoming obsolete? What is the place of the gamete donor? Given that ART is governed by a tacit or explicit agreement between parties (couple, gamete or embryo donors, surrogate mothers), does this signify a "contractualization" of filiation?
• What is the relationship between ART and a strictly genetic vision of parenthood? Is there not a risk that ART will reduce human procreation to a requirement of biological filiation at all costs? Can forms of hybrization be imagined between cultural factors, intentions and parenting projects on the one hand, and "blood ties" or biogenetic material on the other?
• Access rights to ART are a subject of heated debate, raising the question of whether ART should still be seen purely as a treatment for clinical infertility. Is the possibility of having children soon to become a right for couples of all kinds, or even for individuals? Now that technology has invaded the field of human reproduction, must we rethink the place of parenthood in childbearing and of childbearing in parenthood? The techniques available to parents are increasing their decision-making powers and their control over their fertility. Will the desire for a perfect child spread imperceptibly across society? Should the scenario of "liberal eugenics" be taken seriously?