Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, Room 104
Amanda Roth (Class of '04), Associate Professor of Philosophy and Women's & Gender Studies at SUNY Geneseo

A major debate within philosophy and bioethics around reproduction and parenting focuses on the value of genetic ties and the ethics of anonymous donor conception. In recent years, this debate has also gained traction among the public and has led to policy changes in the European, Canadian, and Australian contexts (though less so in the US.) In this talk, Professor Amanda Roth (Class of '04) offers a novel defense of anonymous donor conception in specifically queer contexts: the choice of an anonymous donor by conceiving parents might be a reasonable and effective form of political resistance to bionormativity, the structural privileging of traditional biologically intact families and the stigmatizing of alternative familial relations. If so, anonymous donor conception can perhaps be justified, at least when chosen for this reason and combined with other strategies of combatting bionormativity and supporting children in non-traditional families. This is so, Roth argues, even if anonymous donor conception imposes some moderate costs on donor-conceived offspring. In making this case, Roth offers some broader thoughts on the importance of centering queer people in thinking about issues of family, reproduction, and the value of biological ties.

Sponsored by: 
Department of Philosophy, Department of Government & Law, Department of Psychology, Department of Economics, Department of Biology, Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Hanson Center for Inclusive STEM

Contact information

Owen McLeod, Associate Professor and Head of Philosophy
610 330 5520