Chapter

“Moral Conundrums and Menacing Ambiguities”: Framing 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/9780520252035.003.0004
“Moral Conundrums and Menacing Ambiguities”: Framing the Problem of Surrogate Motherhood

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When public debate about surrogacy peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the concept of “family values” was renowned in political discourse. It is not surprising that the rhetoric surrounding surrogate motherhood and its construction as a social problem was tied to concerns over and debates about the future of the family and to the state's role in protecting families. For some surrogacy opponents, such as the hierarchy of the American Roman Catholic Church and the orthodox Jewish organization Agudath Israel of America, the practice represented one more threat to the stability and continuance of the family. Surrogate motherhood for others marked worrisome changes in the value placed on family relationships. Questions about what defines the family and who can be counted as family members were also part of the public debate about the problem of surrogate motherhood.

Keywords: orthodox; Agudath Israel; America; hierarchy; public debate

Chapter.  9383 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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