From the beginning, no one really knew if any of these techniques were going to prove to be effective or safe, so there's a grand leap of faith each time. Who is to say that we are not- even if our child did have Kartagener's, she would have had a full life.
Because the goal is so important, we feel like it's like worth that leap. NARRATOR: Kevin and Mina Gates wanted a baby for years. NARRATOR: A few years ago, it would have been impossible for Kevin to father a child because his condition leaves his sperm defective, but now these new medical techniques make it possible. NARRATOR: The Gateses decided to go forward, but because there were no living sperm in Kevin's ejaculate, Dr.
There are just hundreds and hundreds of people that I've encountered in New York. SUSAN VAUGHAN: I was flabbergasted that you could go on the Internet and in, like, in a minute, download the entire catalogue of guys, their profiles and their handwriting and, you know, all sorts of information about them.
NARRATOR: Greeley oversees a staff of 20 that each year monitors more than 1,500 women trying to get pregnant. NARRATOR: What they're looking at are sperm donors from a sperm bank across the country in Los Angeles called the California Cryobank.
FRONTLINE #1717 "Making Babies" Airdate: June 1, 1999 Written and Produced by Doug Hamilton and Sarah Spinks Directed by Doug Hamilton NARRATOR: This is Kieran, born December 17th; Ella - or maybe Bella, her parents haven't decided - due next month; and this is Matthew.
All healthy, normal babies, but how each was created is anything but normal. NARRATOR: This is the new act of conception, performed in a basement laboratory at the University of California in San Francisco, an extraordinary new technique called ICSI, or intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection.
NARRATOR: Today, as we find ourselves on the cusp of being able to clone a human, the question is, how far will we go in our efforts to engineer a baby? NARRATOR: Woman's eggs can be surgically removed and fertilized in sterile laboratories.
SUSAN VAUGHAN: It makes you feel a little bit like you're getting into territory that's really eugenics, and that a little scary. Embryos - potential children - can be frozen and stored in metal canisters for years.All sperm donors are anonymous, and there are no pictures. NARRATOR: Not everyone wants to match a husband's looks. The mouse can walk out on this open plank and look over the edge, or the mouse can go into this enclosed area where it's nice and safe.The Cryobank estimates that 40 percent of its clients are single women. NARRATOR: Lee Silver is a professor of genetics at Princeton University.So I was probably much more at ease with that issue. Kevin has had 45 years of relatively good health, and he has led a full life. On the incubator shelf in the embryology lab, the fertilized eggs grew into 12 viable embryos.Embryologist Joe Conaghan prepared two of the healthiest to put back into Mina in the hope that she would become pregnant.But we did- after that first miscarriage, it was really so upsetting that I was ready to move on to adoption. I look at these papers- it was quite a hard decision. NARRATOR: Marilyn Ray also counsels clients at the Cryobank, but on the genetic history of the donors. MARILYN RAY: I spend a lot of time explaining to patients that no one can separate out nature versus nurture, and we certainly haven't.