Why Have Children? The Ethical Debate
by Christine Overall
MIT, 272 pages, $27.95

This book, like my three children, frequently gave me a headache. Just as I was oblivious for much of my life to the problems posed by bearing and rearing children, so humankind was blissfully undisturbed for most of its history by the conundrums this book addresses. Why have children? Why have them now rather than later, or more rather than fewer, or a child one knows will be impaired? Why have them at all?

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