In this paper I employ the case of “reciprocal IVF” (R-IVF)—in which a female–female couple uses in vitro fertilization to allow one woman to be the genetic mother and the other the gestational mother of their child(ren)—to illuminate the role sexual identity might productively play in bioethics. Bioethicists who have taken up this issue have largely focused on the moral permissibility and availability of the technology, and so defend R-IVF through analogy to commonly accepted different-sex uses of IVF. In this way, they position sexual identity as largely irrelevant to the primary bioethical questions raised by R-IVF. My approach diverges on these counts as I focus on the ethics of R-IVF through the lens of queer family values specifically. I ask what the practice of R-IVF as an option might mean for the queer community at large, and so view sexual identity as integral to a full bioethical evaluation of the practice.


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pp. 443-473
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