Encyclopedia of Reproductive Technologies

By Annette Burfoot | Go to book overview

forty-nine
Surrogacy
LAURA M. PURDY AND HELEN BEQUAERT HOLMES
Definitions
"Surrogate" has long meant "substitute, a person acting in place of another," but of late it has been widely used to denote surrogate motherhood (surrogacy for short), a usage coined by Noel Keane and Dennis Breo in their 1981 book The Surrogate Mother. What, in relation to surrogacy, does "mother" or "motherhood" come to mean?Before the age of infertility technologies, a mother played three roles: (1) she provided half the genetic material for an embryo, (2) she gestated an embryo into a newborn child, and (3) she typically nurtured that child until it was ready to leave home. However, Keane and Breo use the term "surrogate" for women who perform the first two roles and, for a fee, hand the child over for the third role to a woman who, in most cases, is connected to the child only as a partner to the man who provided sperm for conception.Some have attempted to replace "surrogate" and "surrogacy" with other terms, such as "contract pregnancy," "intrauterine adoption," and, as in the report of the Canadian Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies ( 1993), "preconception arrangements." And as reproductive technologies have evolved and individuals have devised new twists, categories of surrogacy other than those described by Keane and Breo have appeared and include the following:
1. Natural Surrogacy . Here the surrogate provides half the genetic material and gestates the embryo. She has sexual intercourse with the partner of the woman who will raise the child. The best known example is the

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