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Brown Bodies, White BabiesThe Politics of Cross-Racial Surrogacy$
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Laura Harrison

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479808175

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479808175.001.0001

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“Mommy’s Tummy Was Broken”

“Mommy’s Tummy Was Broken”

Surrogacy Enters the Mainstream

(p.43) 2 “Mommy’s Tummy Was Broken”
Brown Bodies, White Babies

Laura Harrison

NYU Press

Based on a qualitative analysis of mainstream media sources that covered surrogacy in the early 2000s, this chapter addresses multiple narratives of surrogacy that coexisted in the popular media. The analysis highlights three primary themes in this coverage of surrogacy: “women-helping-women,” the call for regulation, and “the kinship question.” The theme of women-helping-women appeared most prevalent; it explained surrogacy primarily through the relationship between women, in which altruism motivates one woman to help another reach the epitome of femininity by becoming a mother. The theme of regulation highlights that narratives of surrogacy that have moved away from a focus on the individual “bad” surrogate or manipulative intended parents; these narratives instead emphasize the lack of regulation at the state and federal level as the principal villain. Finally, media discourse on surrogacy raises the kinship question, which reflects the anxieties raised by ARTs’ challenges to the traditional family.

Keywords:   media, regulation, kinship question, altruism, naturalization, ARTs

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