Warning message

This content is filtered. APPPAH membership is required for full access to journal articles.
-A +A
Publication Date: 
December, 1997
Page Count: 
Starting Page: 

This paper present a thesis that babies are conceived psychogenetically at the same time that they are conceived physically. The manner of their conception becomes an unthought known as part of their being. The term magic babies has been chosen to indicate babies that are produced by various reproductive technologies. The implications of reproductive technology for the welfare of the babies being produced, for their conceivers, bearers and rearers, for their siblings, grandparents and extended family, for their potential children and grandchildren, and for society will also be discussed. A review of electronically operated toy babies will be presented, with an emphasis on the relevance of the production of these mechanical magic babies to the production of human magic babies, both of which are rapidly occurring contemporaneously in our culture.


Andrusko, D. (1996) Great Britain ponders consequences of "pre-natal massacre," and "selective termination," as anniversary of 1967 abortion act approaches. National Right to Life News, 23 (12): 18.

von Bertalanify, L. (1967) Robots, Men and Minds. New York: George Brazillier.

Bettelheim, B. (1959) Joey: A mechanial boy. Scientific American, 200: 117-127. Self portrait, p. 116.

Bollas, C. (1987) The Shadow of the Object. London: Free Association Books.

Bora, B. (1987) The Multiple Man. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, Inc. Copyright, 1976, Ben Bora.

Carton, B. (1997) Multiple pregnancies are often pared back in "fetal reduction." The Wall Street Journal, November 21st, pp. A1 and A6.

Chamberlain, D. B. (1994) The sentient prenate: What every parent should know. Preand Perinatal Psychology Journal, 9 (1): 9-31.

Cheek, D., and LeCron, L. (1968) Clinical Hypnotherapy. New York: Grune and Stratton.

Cloned (1997) NBC Productions. Story: Kerri Kass and Carmen Culver, Producer: Robert Forman, Co-Producer: Abby Wolfe, Co-executive Producers: Sid Fedder and Paula Weinstein, Director: Douglas Barr, Teleplay: Carmen Culver.

Croal, N., and Hughes, J. (1997) Lara Croft, the Bit Girl. Newsweek, November 10th: pp. 82 and 86.

Davis v Davis (1992) 842 S.W. 2d 588 (TN 1992)

Ferenczi, S. (1929) The unwelcome child and his death instinct International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 10: 125-129. Republished in Final Contributions to the Problems & Methods of Psychoanalysis. Michael Balint (Ed.), Eric Mosbacher and others (trans.). New York: Basic Books, (1955): 102-107.

Fedor-Freibergh, P., and Vogel, V., eds. (1988). Prenatal and perinatal psychology and Medicine. Casterton Hall: Parthenon.

Gattica. (1997) Columbia TriStar International. Director: Andrew Niccol.

Grof, S. (1988) Adventures in Self Discovery. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Hayek, F.A. (1944) The Road to Serfdom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Hodder, H.F. (1997) The new fertility. Harvard Magazine, November- December, pp. 54-64, and 97-99.

Janus, L. (1997) Echoes from the Womb. The Enduring Effects ofPre- natal Experience. New York: Jacob Aronson.

Kafkalides, A. (1995) The Knowledge of the Womb. First published in Greece,1980. English translation by Sandra Morris, 1995. Heidelberg, Germany: Mattes Verlag.

Kazantzakis, N. (1952) Zorba the Greek. Touchstone Books. New York: Simon and Shuster

Kolata, G. (1997) Clinics sell embryos made for 'adoption.' New York Times, Washington Edition, November 23rd, pp. 1 and 34.

Kohut, H. (1977) The Restoration of the Self. New York: International Universities Press, Inc.

La Goy, L. (1993), The loss of a twin in utero and its effect on the remaining twin. 6th International Congress: Womb Ecology, World Ecology, Pre and Peri-natal Psychology Association of North America, July 30th.

Langreth, R. (1997) Cloning has fascinating, disturbing potential. The Wall Street Journal, February 24th, pp. Bl and B8.

Levin, I. (1976) The Boys from Brazil. New York: Random House, Inc.

Lifton, B.J. (1997) Why the cabbage patch kids acted out. Decree, American Adoption Congress, 14 (1): 14-15.

Liley, A. (1972). The foetus as a personality. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 6: 99-105.

McCullough, M. (1997) Baby deaths: New criminal profile. The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 23rd, pp. Al and A3.

Ney, P.G. (1983) A consideration of abortion survivors. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 13 (3): 168-179.

Noble, E. (1987) Having Your Baby by Donor Insemination. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Piontelli, A. (1992) From Fetus to Child. New York: Routledge.

Ploye, P.M. (1973) Does prenatal mental life exist? International Journal of PsychoAnalysis, 54: 241-246.

Pressley, S.A. (1997) 4 boys, 3 girls and 6 minutes: Septuplets born. The Washington Post, November 20th, pp. Al and A19.

Sartre, J. P. (1956) Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomeological Ontology. New York: Philosophic Library.

Satir, V. (1983) Conjoint Family Therapy (third edition). Palo Alto: Science and Behavior Books.

Selz, M. (1997) Birth business: Industry races to aid infertile. The Wall Street Journal, November 25th, pp. Bl and B2.

Solms, M. (1997) What is consciousness? Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45 (3): 681-778.

Sonne, J.C., and Lincoln, G. (1966) The importance of a heterosexual co- therapy relationship in the construction of a family image. In I.M. Cohen (Ed.), Psychiatric Research Report # 20: Family Structure, Dynamics, and Therapy. Washington, D.C. : American Psychiatric Association.

Sonne, J.C. (1979) Entropic communication in families with adolescents. International Journal of Family Therapy, 1 (3): 276-289. Discussion by Eduardo Cesarman, 290-291.

Sonne, J.C. (1980) The psychological family and family image construction in unrooted children. Family Therapy, 1: 176-192.

Sonne, J.C. (1991) Triadic transferences of pathological family images. Contemporary Family Therapy, 13 (3): 219-229.

Sonne, J. C. (1994 a). The relevance of the dread of being aborted to models of therapy and models of the mind. Part I: case examples. International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, 6 (1): 67-86. (Reprinted in the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, 1995, 9: 195-219.)

Sonne, J. C. (1994 b). The relevance of the dread of being aborted to models of therapy and models of the mind. Part II: Mentation and communication in the unborn. International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, 6 (2), 247-275. (Reprinted in the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, 1995, 9: 257-294.)

Sonne, J.C. Prenatal Themes in Rock Music. (1996 a) The International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, 1996, 8 (4): 451-463.

Sonne, J. C. (1996 a) Interpreting the dread of being aborted in therapy. The International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology, 8 (3): 317-339. (Reprinted in Preand Perinatal Psychology Journal 1997, 11 (4): 185-214).

Sonne, J.C. (1996 c) An Open Letter to the Pro-Life Community. Decree, American Adoption Congress, 13 (3): 11-13.

Sonne, J. C. (1997) The psychological consequences of ignorance: Adoptees' right to know who their biological parents are. Journal for the Psychoanalysis of Culture & Society, 2 (1): 105-114.

Steinfels, P. (1997) Beliefs. The New York Times, March 8th, p. 29.

The Third Twin (1997) CBS Productions. Director: Tony McLoughlin, Screenplay: Cindy Myers, Story: Robert Ludlum. Televised November 11th.

Verny, T., and Kelly, J. (1981) The secret Life of the Unborn Child. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.

Washington Post, 1996. British fertility clinics begin destroying human embryos. August 2nd, p. 22.

Wilheim, J. (1988) A Caminho do Nascimento - Una ponte entre Biologica e o Psiquico. (On the Way to Being Born: a Link between the Biological and the Psychical.) Sao Paulo: Imago Editora.

Wilmut, I., Scnieke, A. E., McWhir, A. J., Kind, A. J., & Campbell, K. U.S. (1997) Viable offspring derived from fetal and adult mammalian cells. Nature, 385: 810-813.

Winnicott, D.W. (1949) Through Paediatrics to Psycho-Analysis. New York: Basic Books, Inc.

John C. Sonne, M.D.

John C. Sonne, M.D., a psychoanalyst and family therapist, has had a long standing interest in models of mentation and communication, with a particular focus on how these models operate in the family, in prenatal and neonatal stages of life, and in therapy. In addition to being in private practice, he is currently Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and Senior Attending, The Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. Correspondence should be addressed to 443 Shady Lane, Moorestown, NJ 08057

This paper was presented December 5th, 1997, at the 8th International Congress of The Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health, San Francisco, California, December 4th-December 7th, 1997.