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In a rich series of ethnographic case studies, Transformative Motherhood intimately conveys the experiences of women in the United States who, in each case, have reproductive encounters that do not match up to these cultural standards. From women who choose to become surrogate, foster, or adoptive mothers, to others who give birth to children with disabilities or who have had a pregnancy loss, all creatively meet the challenges posed by their particular mothering experiences. It is often the language of giving and getting, so prominent in a consumer culture, that these women use to make sense of their situation.
In the process, Transformative Motherhood redefines conventional understandings of motherhood, the mother/child relationship, and the role of biology and the law in determining what constitutes a family.
"This text opens up multiple possibilities for reading contemporary women as responsive speaking subjects involved in reconstructing and transferring meanings without consolidating or totalizing their outcomes."
-Resources for Feminist Research,Winter/Spring 2001, Vol. 28, No. ¾
|Introduction: The Child as Gift: New Directions in the Study of Euro-American Gift Exchange||1|
|1||Freely Given: Open Adoption and the Rhetoric of the Gift||29|
|2||The Gift of Life: Surrogate Motherhood, Gamete Donation, and Constructions of Altruism||65|
|3||Gifts and Burdens: The Social and Familial Context of Foster Mothering||89|
|4||Does God Give Special Kids to Special Parents? Personhood and the Child with Disabilities as Gift and as Giver||133|
|5||"True Gifts from God": Motherhood, Sacrifice, and Enrichment in the Case of Pregnancy Loss||167|