In their article, ‘Gamete donor anonymity and limits on numbers of offspring: the views of three stakeholders’, Margaret K. Nelson, Rosanna Hertz and Wendy Kramer draw on survey data from gamete donors, parents who used gametes to conceive, and donor-conceived offspring in order to understand the position that various stakeholders are likely to hold regarding the regulation of two issues pertaining to gamete donation: anonymity and limits on numbers of offspring.1 This commentary elaborates on the politics underlying conflicts and agreements among various stakeholders involved with third-party reproduction and details the need for data to better inform legislation regarding assisted reproductive medicine. In so doing, I draw from social science research on third-party reproductive practices as well as from my own research on surrogacy, an area of third-party reproductive practice that shares many of the particular issues involved with gamete donation. First, I discuss the dearth of laws that regulate the reproductive industry in theUnited States and the contradictions and tensions that contribute to legislative inertia regarding reproductive medicine. Next, I survey the lack of data on ethical and legal issues that arise from assisted third-party reproductive arrangements, and I show how social science research on these issues can challenge common assumptions about the practice. At the same time, I examine the difficulty in collecting good representative data in this realm. Finally, I discuss the complexities of translating the nuances of social science research into workable legislation.