Critique of psychosocial research on surrogacy.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Surrogate motherhood (Reports)
Pub Date: 11/01/2008
Publication: Name: Reproductive Health Matters Publisher: Reproductive Health Matters Audience: General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Family and marriage; Health; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 Reproductive Health Matters ISSN: 0968-8080
Issue: Date: Nov, 2008 Source Volume: 16 Source Issue: 32
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 192393447
Full Text: An estimated 25,000 women have given birth through surrogacy in the USA as a legal, commercial process since the 1970s, and over 99% of these have willingly relinquished the child as contractually agreed. The popular stereotype is of the surrogate who regrets her decision and tries to reclaim the child. This article presents a critical appraisal of the psychosocial empirical research on surrogate mothers, their motivations for entering into surrogacy agreements and the outcome of their participation. The review is part of a larger longitudinal ethnographic study conducted between 1998 and 2006 of the personal experiences of surrogates and intended mothers in Israel. The author argues that the cultural assumption that "normal" women do not voluntarily become pregnant with the intention of relinquishing the child for money, together with the assumption that 'normal' women 'naturally' bond with the children they bear, frames much of this research. This leads researchers to overlook the intrinsic value of the women's personal experiences and has implications for social policy. (1)

(1.) Teman E. The social construction of surrogacy research: an anthropological critique of the psychosocial scholarship on surrogate motherhood. Social Science and Medicine 2008;67:1104-12.
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