Bioethics News

Creating Lexie’s Village

Natalie Lovett and Lexie / Australian Story   

IVF for single women who never found Mr Right is becoming more popular, even if it is still regarded with some misgivings. A documentary on Australian Story profiles a former Facebook executive, 46-year-old Natalie Lovett, who decided on single motherhood and a designer baby after several failed relationships.

“Have I done it all right? No. I, I’ve made so many mistakes in my life: so many. I’ve walked away from an amazing relationship in my early, late 20s because I chose career over it. Should I be punished for the rest of my life because I didn’t make the right choices at the right time? I love my nieces and nephews so much, but they weren’t my own.”

Her daughter Lexie is now about two years old.

Ms Lovett’s choice involved more work than most IVF mothers. She had to select both a sperm donor and an egg donor. The egg donor was a college student who is using her US$10,000 fee to pay her way through college. Since it is illegal to sell gametes in Australia, she resorted to an Californian clinic. She designed the embryos carefully, specifying that the donors had to have tertiary qualifications and no addictions.

An unusual twist to her story is that she discovered that the clinic had created 25 embryos for her. Reluctant to give them to science or to destroy them, she decided to advertise her “high quality embryos” to prospective mothers. But as a condition of accepting the embryo, the mother has to sign an agreement stipulating that the children and their families have to get together once a year.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.