Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the CBC?

About us: The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network (CBC) addresses bioethical issues that most profoundly affect our humanity, especially issues that arise in the lives of the most vulnerable among us. We work through a variety of media platforms—documentary film, writing, speaking, interviews, social media, and more—to educate and inform members of the general public, thought leaders, lawmakers, and others on ethical issues in healthcare, biomedical research, and biotechnological advancement.

How long have you been working to inform the world about bioethical issues?

The Center for Bioethics and Culture (CBC) was founded in 2000.

What issues does the CBC cover?

We aim to educate the public on an array of issues within bioethics that fall into two categories: the “making of human life” and the “faking of human life.”

Making human life issues:

  • Sperm Donation
  • Egg Donation
  • Surrogacy
  • Stem Cell Research
  • Fetal Genetic Testing
  • Artificial wombs and synthetic egg and sperm
  • Embryo adoption

Faking human life issues:

  • Human Cloning
  • Therapy vs. Enhancement
  • Transhumanism
  • CRISPR Technology

You can read more on our Issues page.

What should I understand about egg and sperm “donation” and surrogacy?

You can find information regarding our strong stance against all forms of surrogacy and why we educate the world on the issue of surrogacy in our informational pamphlets:

Many times, we are asked about our position on sperm and egg donation and surrogacy. People often ask about the ethics, the medical risks, or the children produced through third-party conception. We find that if you watch our films, many of your questions will be answered. Our films can be watched online on Amazon or Vimeo. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can even watch our films for free!

Where can I watch your films?

Our films can be found on an array of platforms including Amazon Prime, Vimeo and YouTube. You can find links to each film below. We also have a very useful, free 31-page study guide you can use if you want to organize a film screening with your friends/colleagues and lead a robust discussion.


The infertility industry in the United States has grown to a multi-billion-dollar business. What is its main commodity? Human eggs. Young women all over the world are solicited by ads—via college campus bulletin boards, social media, online classifieds—offering up to $100,000 for their “donated” eggs, to “help make someone’s dream come true.” But who is this egg donor? Is she treated justly? What are the short- and long-term risks to her health? The answers to these questions will disturb you . . .

Watch at Amazon
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For more information, visit

Anonymous Father’s Day

Thousands of donor-conceived people have a deep longing to know who they belong to, where they come from, and who they look like. What is it like to grow up not knowing who your biological father is or if you have any siblings? What is it like to find out that the man you thought was your dad is not your biological father, that your true biological father donated his sperm and is known only by a number? How does it impact your self-perception, the choices you make, and your view of life and the world? Donor-conceived people are demanding answers to these basic questions about their origins, their lives, and their identities.

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For more information, visit

Breeders: A Subclass of Women?

Surrogacy is fast becoming one of the major issues of the 21st century—celebrities and everyday people are increasingly using surrogates to build their families. But the practice is fraught with complex implications for women, children, and families. What is the impact on the women who serve as surrogates and on the children, who are born from surrogacy? In what ways might money complicate things? What about altruistic surrogacy done for a family member or close friend? Is surrogacy a beautiful, loving act or does it simply degrade pregnancy to a service and a baby to a product? Can we find a middle ground? Should we even look for one?

Watch at Amazon
Watch at Vimeo
For more information, visit

#BigFertility: It’s All About The Money

Kelly Martinez served as a surrogate mother for three different couples and was threatened with financial ruin after nearly dying during her third surrogacy. But each of her surrogacy journeys had a price to pay. Kelly’s story exemplifies everything that is wrong with the distorted version of fertility medicine that is Big Fertility. It truly is all about the money.

Watch at Amazon
Watch at Vimeo
For more information, visit

Maggie’s Story

Maggie’s Story follows one woman’s journey of learning about “helping” others have a child they desperately want, what she discovered in becoming an egg donor, and the consequences that followed. Maggie was told how special she was, but she was never informed of the risks egg donation posed to her own health and well-being. She was used repeatedly for others’ gain, but when things turned bad, she was left on her own to navigate tests, treatments, surgeries, and an unknown prognosis.

Watch at Amazon
Watch at Vimeo
For more information, visit

Can I watch your films in other languages?

Absolutely! We have translated many of our films into French, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese. These versions of the films can be found on Vimeo – simply click the Vimeo link to the video of interest and then select the language you wish to view the film in.

Where can I purchase your films?

You can purchase our films through the CBC Store.

How can I request a CBC Speaker for my event?

If you would like to have Jennifer Lahl or someone else from the Center for Bioethics and Culture speak at or attend your event, fill out a CBC Speaker/Event form.

How can I support the CBC?

Online: Set up monthly donations or give a one-time donation by credit card using PayPal:
Mail: Checks can be mailed to the CBC Network at 3380 VINCENT RD STE HUB PLEASANT HILL, CA 94523-4324
Other: Contact us directly at 925-407-2660 or for gifts of stock, employee matching contributions, and including the CBC in your estate plans.

How can I contact the CBC?

General Inquiries:
Media Contact:
Mailing Address:
The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network
Phone: 925-407-2660
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube

What is the Paul Ramsey Institute?

The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network founded the Paul Ramsey Institute in 2012 to build a training program that would uphold and further the great legacy of our namesake, Paul Ramsey (1913-1988). Ramsey anticipated many of the moral challenges we now face in the realms of science and medicine, and pioneered a thorough ethical analysis of these challenges.

In this spirit, the Paul Ramsey Institute brings together leading thinkers in the field of bioethics with current graduate students, medical students, and early-career academic and medical professionals in order to prepare and equip these future leaders with an approach to bioethics that is grounded in moral responsibility. The Institute’s scholars and fellows gather three times each year.

At the Paul Ramsey Institute, we pursue important questions that are facing our world today such as:

  • What does it mean to be human?
  • How are we to pursue various techniques and therapies to promote healing while also recognizing and respecting ethical limitations?
  • What is the meaning of suffering?
  • Might it serve some greater good?
  • What is the proper relationship between patient and physician?
  • Can science alone solve our problems?

In engaging these questions, we don’t simply speculate about the future, we also consider how past philosophical traditions can shape and improve our present understandings and help us to meet the pressing challenges of our time.

Who can apply to be a Paul Ramsey Fellow?

We are looking for current graduate students, law students, medical students, and early-career academic, legal, and medical professionals. At present, we are only accepting applications from residents in North America.

What are the qualifications?

Applicants must have already completed their undergraduate education and should be enrolled in graduate studies or work in a related field.

When is the next time applications will be accepted?

Applications for the next cohort are open now through March 31, 2021. The application link and full eligibility requirements can be found at the Paul Ramsey Institute website.

What time commitment is required of Fellows?

PRI is not a full-time program but designed to supplement early-career bioethics professionals and those completing advanced degrees in a related area of study. Fellows travel to meetings three times a year for two years, usually in the San Francisco Bay Area, for weekend-long seminars and discussions. Fellows are expected to attend all meetings during the course of their Fellowship. In addition, Fellows are expected to complete book-length or equivalent readings in advance of these meetings and may be asked to prepare a very brief (7-10 minute) introductory presentation on a chapter or article from the reading. Other opportunities for related conferences and publications may become available for Fellows but are not required.

Does the Fellowship come with any funding?

While there is no stipend or supplemental funding, the required reading materials, travel, lodging, and meals are covered for all meetings.

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