The Law: The Riddle of A.I.

Having been "absolutely sterile" for 18 years as the result of radiation exposure, Manhattan Internist John M. Prutting, 56, was hardly pleased last fall when Mrs. Prutting, 35, gave birth to her first child. Without his consent or knowledge, says the doctor, Mrs. Prutting conceived her child by A.I.D. (artificial insemination by a donor). Predictably, Prutting is now suing for divorce on the only ground New York permits—adultery. Unpredictably, his suit poses a curious legal riddle, and a jury must now tackle the key issue: Does A.I.D. constitute adultery?

Not only has the question never before been faced by a New York...

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