Medicine: Test-Tube Test Case

There are at least 10,000 test-tube children in the U.S. (some doctors estimate as many as 40,000). They have been born in the last 25 years as the result of artificial insemination, with the doctor using semen supplied by a carefully chosen anonymous donor. Their legitimacy has always been a matter for speculation. A Canadian court has ruled donor babies illegitimate, but in the U.S. the question had remained moot. Last week a tangled divorce and custody case projected it into the headlines.

In Chicago Superior Court Mary Doornbos, 36, demanded full custody of...

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