By Elly Teman
Birthing a mom is the 1st ethnography to probe the intimate event of gestational surrogate motherhood. during this superbly written and insightful publication, Elly Teman indicates how surrogates and meant moms conscientiously negotiate their cooperative recreation. Drawing on anthropological fieldwork between Jewish Israeli girls, interspersed with cross-cultural views of surrogacy within the worldwide context, Teman strains the methods in which surrogates relinquish any maternal declare to the infant at the same time meant moms accomplish a sophisticated transition to motherhood. Teman’s groundbreaking research unearths that as surrogates psychologically and emotionally disengage from the fetus they create, they increase a profound and lasting bond with the meant mom.
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Additional resources for Birthing a Mother: The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self
The law’s terminology deems the couple the “intended parents” and the surrogate the “carrying mother,” specifying that the couple is intended to parent the child and the surrogate is only meant to carry, and thus be an instrument in the nuclear family’s creation. ”65 The Israeli surrogacy law is a fascinating artifact for cultural analysis, and others have provided in-depth accounts of its formulation and its cultural and social context. 69 Birthing a Mother focuses on the experiences of the people who are left to navigate the sometimes hazardous shoals of surrogacy within these public discourses and, in particular, under the specific conditions of the Israeli surrogacy law.
98 The future of the women’s ongoing relationship, or lack thereof, is contingent on the intended mother’s adoption of the surrogate’s gifting logic or her refusal to acknowledge the obligations that receiving the surrogate’s gift entails. Part 4, “Redefining,” looks at the way surrogates formulate their surrogacy journey as a quest or odyssey that leads them to acquire self-definition and self-knowledge. I discuss this heroic framing of the surrogate role against the backdrop of the many constraints and potentially disempowering elements that are part of the structure of the surrogacy process as a whole, particularly in Israel.
They have asked me for referrals to doctors and other professionals involved in surrogacy arrangements and for advice on how to screen potential surrogates and manage surrogacy relationships. After articles appeared in the Israeli press about my research,84 I found myself contacted by rabbis and by social workers at hospitals who needed more information about surrogacy to establish hospital guidelines and by couples who thought I could help them find a surrogate. In a reversal of the ethnographer’s role, after sharing my findings with members of the surrogacy support group and Internet forum, I have encountered surrogates and intended mothers quoting my research in interviews they have given to the popular press and on television.
Birthing a Mother: The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self by Elly Teman