Surrogate Motherhood / Edition 1

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Overview

Ever since the Baby M case, the public has been fascinated with the continuing phenomenon of surrogate motherhood. The Baby M case raised, and left unanswered, many questions about what constitutes motherhood, fatherhood, family, reproduction, and kinship. What do the surrogates, commissioning couples, program directors, and attending professionals think and feel about surrogacy? How and when are the children told of their birth origins? How do surrogate mother programs select a surrogate? What psychological tests are administered? Surrogate Motherhood: Conception in the Heart examines the phenomenon of surrogate motherhood in depth, through the unique perspective of a cultural anthropologist, providing us with answers to these and other questions in a richly textured ethnography. Included in the book are actual surrogate and couple evaluation forms completed by clinical psychologists, confidential surrogate mother information sheets, and the legal contract used by one of the programs.To date, thousands of surrogate-assisted births have taken place, but never before have the experiences of the participants and program staff been explored in such detail. Participants who have never before spoken publicly about their involvement in surrogacy here speak out, and their statements are startling and intriguing. Surrogate mothers and commissioning couples who have suffered the pain of infertility open up their hearts to illuminate the compelling world of surrogacy in which many of our assumptions about nurturance, family, and kinship are reconfigured. The following quotes from surrogates, a father, and an adoptive mother speak to the richness of this text.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Helena Ragoné teaches anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She is the coeditor of Situated Lives: Gender and Culture in Everyday Life and Reproducing Reproduction: Kinship, Power, and Technological Innovation. She is currently writing Distant Kin, on gestational surrogacy and ovum donation.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Surrogate Mother Programs 13
2 Surrogate Mothers 51
3 Fathers and Adoptive Mothers 87
4 Surrogate Motherhood and American Kinship 109
Appendix A: Couple's Biographical Sketch for Surrogate Mother 139
Appendix B: Contract 141
Appendix C: Phone Intake Form and Letter to Prospective Surrogate 155
Appendix D: Detailed Application Form for Surrogate Mothers 157
Appendix E: Biographical Sketches of Potential Surrogates 165
Appendix F: Surrogate Mother's Biographical Sketch for Couple 167
Appendix G: Genetic Screening Information Sheet and Questionnaire 169
Appendix H: Phone Intake Form for Prospective Parents 175
Appendix I: Prospective Parents Questionnaire 177
Appendix J: Egg Donor Program 181
Appendix K: Handling of Semen Specimen and Insemination Instructions 187
Notes 193
References 199
About the book and author 207
Index 209
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