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Book Reviews

Cracked Open

Liberty, Fertility, and the Pursuit of High Tech Babies

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Miriam Zoll, award-winning journalist and human rights advocate, discovered her desire for motherhood at the age of forty. Optimistic about the reproductive technologies available to women her age, she and her husband, Michael, set out on a many-years-long journey through the world of IVF, donor eggs, tens of thousands of dollars in infertility treatments, and post-traumatic stress disorder—a journey that ultimately ended in adoption.

With journalistic flair, Cracked Open: Liberty, Fertility, and the Pursuit of High-Tech Babies shines a light on the experiences of infertile couples within an industry that, in Zoll’s experience, offers inflated hope to desperate would-be parents. While Zoll herself questions the ethics of clinic policy and various fertility interventions, she offers no answers. The memoir, she tells us, is her contribution to a public, “consumer-driven” conversation, one that will empower couples with information and insight about assisted reproductive technology in their quest to become parents. Zoll tells this story as an authority and with brutal honesty—no doubt a conversation starter.

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