Chapter

“Choice” and the “Best Interests of Children”: Claiming the Problem of Surrogate Motherhood

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/9780520252035.003.0003
“Choice” and the “Best Interests of Children”: Claiming the Problem of Surrogate Motherhood

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At the end of the twentieth century, reproductive politics and debates about families and children shaped how social actors, from politicians and political activists to feminists and infertile women, chose to frame the problem of surrogacy. Supporters of surrogate motherhood and opponents generate their arguments in terms of a “woman's right to choose.” Bill Handel, director of the Center for Surrogate Parenting in Los Angeles, emphasized that a woman has the right to do with her body as she chooses. But among those who sought to ban surrogacy, choice had a very different meaning. Opponents were worried about the loss of choice a surrogate might face. They argued that women who enter into surrogacy contracts risk a profound erosion of autonomy over their own bodies and over their rights as a genetic parent.

Keywords: political activists; feminist; Bill Handel; opponents; autonomy

Chapter.  10626 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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