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  • Is Gabe really Claire's biological son?
    • It stands to reason that the community which regulates every aspect of its population would also pratice eugenics. Girls are selected as Birthmothers if they did not perform well enough in school to be assigned a career suited to demonstrated aptitudes—in other words, incubating products is all that they're deemed good for. If that is the case, then these aren't the kind of community members that the Elders would want putting low-achieving genes back into the population. It is more likely that both egg and sperm are obtained from other carefully-selected members of the population (as they already do for the sperm donors) and that in vitro fertilization is standard procedure.
      • So Lowry goofed by trying to make it seem like Gabe is biologically Claire's son. But granting that Gabe isn't Claire's biological son doesn't need to change the plot: Claire could still genuinely feel attachment and love for the child that grew within her, whether or not it had her genetics.
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    • Why wouldn't he be? The fact that Claire was a poor student doesn't necessarily mean that Gabe couldn't be related to her. Because, well... even if they do genetically engineer the babies, it didn't seem to work for Claire. So the relative skill levels don't seem to be that damning of evidence (because "good" genes still produced a "subpar" result), and it's still pointed out within the book that someone has to do the job of Birthmother, anyway (even if everyone was a spectacular student, it wouldn't matter).

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