Chapter

Introduction: Unfamiliar Families?

Susan Markens

in Surrogate Motherhood and the Politics of Reproduction

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780520252035
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940970 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520252035.003.0001
Introduction: Unfamiliar Families?

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This book investigates the opposing ways in which two “mega-states,” New York and California, responded to the issue of surrogate motherhood in 1992. Families, and mothers in particular, are believed to play a vital role in creating and socializing future citizens. American society is so pronatalist that those who choose to remain childless often have to defend that decision. Furthermore, even nontraditional prospective parents, from gays and lesbians to professional single women, are frequently encouraged to have children. At the same time, it is precisely this explosion of diverse family formations and gender relations that many have viewed as threatening to the family. As a result, in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, focus was on how scholars can be a parent, how important mothering is in women's lives, and what responsibility the state has in encouraging and sustaining particular family forms.

Keywords: New York; California; pronatalist; surrogate motherhood; American society

Chapter.  7186 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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