ART in popular culture


Outsourcing Childbirth

April 25, 2008

Baby MamaIf you can stand to read any more about surrogates, I have a piece today in the Wall Street Journal about the movie Baby Mama and the morality of renting wombs:

Surrogacy itself seems to have come out of the mommy closet, to judge from recent media coverage. The New York Times and the Boston Globe have both reported on the practice of outsourcing wombs to poor Indian women. On a recent cover of Newsweek, the abdomen of a pregnant woman appeared with the words "Womb for Rent" emblazoned upon it. The issue's lead story, "The Curious Lives of Surrogates," ignited a small media frenzy with its sensationalistic revelations about military wives cashing in as surrogates -- in part by bilking their government-provided health plans.

The attention has rekindled the debate over the morality of renting wombs. While most people are reluctant to stand in the way of women who want to use modern medicine to help them conceive, others are more wary. Jennifer Lahl, the director of the California-based Center for Bioethics and Culture says "The surrogate isn't seen or treated as the patient. She's the cow, the womb."

posted by Cheryl Miller | 10:11 am
File As: Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Surrogacy, ART in popular culture

More Surrogates: Special "Baby Mama" Edition

April 22, 2008

Baby Mama opens this Friday in the United States. Here's the full trailer:


Anthony Lane has a review in the New Yorker:

Forget the title, the target audience, and the taglines: what fuels “Baby Mama” is not the eternal quest for motherhood, or the topical conflict between parenting and careers, but an old-fashioned scuffle over class. Nothing places us on the social scale as accurately as our child-rearing, and one shot of kids being called across a sunlit playground—“Time for your playdate with Wingspan and Banjo!”—summons a world of liberal cuteness. Clean-living and high-earning, Kate markets gloopy green soup and other organic treasures to the discerning. Angie: “That crap is for rich people who hate themselves.” Oof.

More here and here. Fertility doctors are also giving Baby Mama mixed reviews. [UPDATE: Stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler discuss the stress of being a parent, the odd names stars give their children, and why Hollywood is suddenly so obsessed with pregnancy.]

Meanwhile, single men are turning to surrogacy to become fathers, the London Telegraph reports: 

The bachelor pad is picking up its final modern accessory - a screaming baby.

Tracy LaGondino, the "pregnant man" who wasn't a man, suffers from gender identity syndrome, but I wonder what label the shrinks would pin on a man like Will Zangwill. Given that he's a Manhattan psychologist himself, what would Mr Zangwill call it?

He's part of a new trend in which single men are paying through the nose to have a baby via a surrogate mother.

posted by Cheryl Miller | 9:29 am
File As: Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Film, Surrogacy, ART in popular culture

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