Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Birthing a Mother: Surrogacy in Israel


My wife Dr. Elly Teman's superb ethnography of Surrogate Motherhood is now available on Amazon:)

Birthing a Mother is the first ethnography to probe the intimate experience of gestational surrogate motherhood.

In this beautifully written and insightful book, Dr. Elly Teman shows how surrogates and intended mothers carefully negotiate their cooperative endeavor.

Drawing on anthropological fieldwork among Jewish-Israeli women, interspersed with cross-cultural perspectives of surrogacy in the global context, Teman traces the processes by which surrogates relinquish any maternal claim to the baby even as intended mothers accomplish a complicated transition to motherhood.

Teman's groundbreaking analysis reveals that as surrogates psychologically and emotionally disengage from the fetus they carry, they develop a profound and lasting bond with the intended mother.

Teman shows how a potentially alienating experience for the surrogate becomes empowering and how the experience is transformed into a "hero's journey" through which they overcome very real personal obstacles with commitment and determination.

The result is a book that demolishes the myth of the "womb for rent" and powerfully affirms a joint project in which one woman assists another, through sacrifice and instruction, to become-also-a mother.


Birthing a Mother: The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self
by Dr. Elly Teman
University of California Press, 2010

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