Stolen Motherhood: Surrogacy and Made-to-Order Children

Maria De Koninck. Baraka, $24.95 trade paper (195p) ISBN 978-1-77186-224-0
Sociologist De Koninck delivers a harsh critique of human surrogacy based on the argument that it jeopardizes gender equality and human rights by treating women and children as property. De Koninck argues that the experience of pregnancy makes one a mother, even if “she has not conceived the child she’s carrying and has no relationship to the father.” As evidence, she cites the cellular connection to the baby during its growth and the child’s experiences before and immediately after birth. Though she acknowledges studies showing that some women who become surrogates for financial reasons report overall satisfaction with the process, De Konick calls for a end to human surrogacy. However, the few negative examples she provides, including a couple who refused to take a baby with Down syndrome, are outliers. Though she raises some meaningful questions about wealthy couples commodifying poor women, De Koninck’s claim that surrogacy without financial incentives is equally problematic falls flat, as does her argument that surrogacy is a step along the way to “completely eliminating the mother from the equation.” This ill-reasoned takedown misses the mark. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 11/05/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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