Emerging technologies in reproductive science won’t just change the ways we become parents — they’ll play a key role in the evolving definition of “family.”
Traditional family structures are adapting to make room for children conceived in previously unimaginable ways. Whole industries and internet-enabled communities are being built around reproductive technologies. And there’s more change coming as science continues to move forward. Combining intimate personal stories with cutting-edge research, Reconceptions invites readers to reconsider their own ideas about parenthood and embrace a new vision of the meaning of family.
In 2012, Rachel Lehmann-Haupt, an award-winning journalist, chose to begin a family on her own as a single mother by choice. In the years since her son was born, Rachel’s interest in collaborative reproduction has only grown — leading her to search for pioneers in reproductive science and the different permutations of families that this science is making possible. In Reconceptions, she shares intimate stories from the bleeding edge of society’s redefinition of family — including her own experience of creating a new kind of tribe with her son’s “dosies,” or donor siblings, and their parents. In these pages, readers will meet:
- Tyra, the egg donor and professional surrogate who doesn’t want kids of her own, but stays in touch with several of the families she’s helped in the conception of their children.
- Sam, the single father by choice who worked with a surrogate and donor egg to conceive his son who he is now raising with his girlfriend.
- Rob and Scotty, the gay couple whose egg donor is now a friend and fixture at family social gatherings.
- The author’s Facebook group of mothers who conceived their children with the same sperm donor — and how the group served as a much much-needed support system through the worst of the COVID pandemic.
Reconceptions offers a compelling vision of what advances in reproductive science mean for the definition of family in the 21st century and beyond, and imparts a modern story for anyone looking to better understand their own familial relationships — no matter what their family looks like.
Rachel Lehmann-Haupt is an award-winning author and expert on the future of family life, career timing, and the influence of science and technology on fertility, pregnancy and family. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsweek, New York, Vogue, Outside, Wired and Neo.Life. Kirkus Reviews said her her first book, In Her Own Sweet Time: Unexpected Adventures in Finding Love, Commitment and Motherhood (Basic Books, 2009), "gracefully combines a revealing, engaging memoir with admirably nuanced social commentary.” She is also founder of StoryMade Studio, a boutique storytelling studio serving a wide range of clients, including the TED conference and the Mayo Clinic.
Jane Metcalfe is the CEO and founder of NEO.LIFE, a media and events company tracking how digital tools and an engineering mindset are transforming human biology. She is chair of the Human Immunome Project, a global consortium of researchers, industry, and NGOs working to build working models of the human immunome, and also co-chair of the Futures Council of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.
Prior to that, Jane made chocolate on a pier in San Francisco as the President of TCHO Chocolate.
But Jane is probably best known as the cofounder and former president of Wired Magazine / Wired Ventures, Inc., the legendary media company that chronicled the digital revolution as it was happening from a front row seat. Under Jane’s and her cofounder Louis Rossetto’s leadership, the magazine grew to an internationally renowned brand and a diversified media company featuring U.S., U.K., and Japanese editions, a book division, a television show and HotWired, the first original online content backed by Fortune 500 advertising, inventing the advertising banner along the way (which they discussed but didn’t patent). There was also HotBot, at the time the fastest search engine in the world.
Rachel Lehmann photo courtesy of the author; Jane Metcalfe photo courtesy of