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Surrogate Motherhood-- Interview with Elly Teman

Surrogate Motherhood-- Interview with Elly Teman

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Published by mslula
Article on Elly Teman's research on surrogate motherhood in the Jewish Review
http://www.jewishreview.org/health/science/Ex-Portlanders-surrogacy-book-draws-on-Israel-study

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

Sample chapter available on book website:
http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn...
For a 20% discount enter code: 10M9071
Article on Elly Teman's research on surrogate motherhood in the Jewish Review
http://www.jewishreview.org/health/science/Ex-Portlanders-surrogacy-book-draws-on-Israel-study

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

Sample chapter available on book website:
http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn...
For a 20% discount enter code: 10M9071

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: mslula on Apr 16, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/21/2010

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22
APRIL1,2010NISSAN17,5770 JEWISHREVIEW
BY DEBORAH MOON
Jewish Review
While a Portland native’s new book on surrogacy ocuses on astudy in Israel, the country withthe world’s frst and most exten-sive surrogacy regulations, the hu-man experience o dealing withthat strange situation is common toother surrogates around the world.Elly Teman’s “Birthing aMother: The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Sel,” publishedMarch 4 by University o Calior-nia Press, is based on the author’sPhD dissertation research at He-brew University in Jerusalem. Athird-generation Portland native, Teman attended Hillel Academy and Congregation Shaarie Torah, where her grandparents Ruth andRobert Erlich are still members.Her great-grandmother TillieNepom arrived in Portland in 1913at the age o 13, just months olderthan Teman was when she movedto Israel with her parents Rhisaand Nissan Teman at age 12½.Israel’s “Embryo CarryingAgreements Law” had just legal-ized gestational surrogacy when Teman began her graduate studies.She said she immediately thoughtit would be a great anthropologi-cal case study. She began her PhDstudies in 1998, just ater the frstsurrogate birth in Israel, which“went wrong” and drew intensescrutiny o “what not to do in sur-rogacy,” she said. The resultinguror created even more intenseregulation o surrogacy in Israel.A cultural anthropologist, Teman decided to look at thestrange situation o a couple hav-ing another woman carry theirbaby and how the surrogate deals with “being pregnant while notexpecting a baby.“The human experience o making sense o this predicamentis common to other surrogates inother places,” she said.Teman said all couples consid-ering surrogacy ear that the sur-rogate mother will bond with thebaby, such as in the amed Baby M case in which the surrogatemother ought a court battle toretain custody o the baby.“When you read this book andlisten to the words o women act-ing as surrogates, they are makinginormed, rational decisions,” said Teman, noting that in Israel the women are gestational surrogates who conceive through invitro ertil-ization rather than the artifcial in-semination that made Baby M thegenetic daughter o the surrogate.“They see how high the stakesare or the technology to work andthey see how much the couple hasriding on it to become parents,”she said. “From the beginning,surrogates talk about dividingthemselves … reerring to theirbelly area as ‘not me.’ They haveto mark their limits to remember where their boundaries are.”In Israel, a small country wherethe arthest surrogates could liverom the couple is our hours, sur-rogates oten orm strong bonds with the couple or whom they are carrying a child, Teman said.She added that sharing a lan-guage and culture also help unitethem. (Israeli law requires thehost and genetic mother to be thesame religion).“They (surrogate mothers)don’t want to be choked and tak-en over, but they do want to sharethe experience with the ‘intendedmother’ (as the genetic mother isknown in Israeli law),” she said. The intended mother re-quently accompanies the sur-rogate to all doctor’s appointe-ments, takes home the ultrasoundpictures and does the things they think pregnant women do. Themother is usually with the surro-gate during the birth process.Teman said that “they transitioninto being a mother through theprocess.” She said some o the wom-en she studied actually had a pseudopregnancy, gaining weight and eel-ing contractions. Two women, withno hormone injections, spontane-ously developed breast milk.In Israel, the laws aid the pro-cess, calling the surrogate the“carrying mother” and the biolog-ical mother the “intended moth-er.” Culturally, the dierence iseven stronger with the surrogatecommonly being reerred to as an“Innkeeper, who is hosting thisamily coming into being.”Israeli law, originally written toensure children were halachically  Jewish, has expanded over the years to protect the surrogate’smental and physical health, as well as the intended parents’rights. A state committee mustapprove every surrogate arrange-ment. The committee screens thesurrogate and the couple psycho-logically and medically screensthe surrogate. The committeeensures the contract is valid andthat it provides or contingenciessuch as what happens i the baby has a birth deect or who will theguardians be i the parents die be-ore the birth.Conversely in the UnitedStates, regulations vary rom stateto state and even between dier-ent surrogate agencies in the samestate.In Israel, Teman said surro-gates are much more open aboutbeing paid or their eort. All Is-raeli surrogates are single women,many single mothers who use themoney to raise their own children.“It doesn’t mean it’s not amitzvah just because they are us-ing the money to get ahead,” Te-man said the surrogates reason.Teman is now a research el-low at the Penn Center or theIntegration o Genetic Health-care Technologies at the Univer-sityh o Pennsylvania, where sheis studying how ultra-Orthodox women make decisions on prena-tal genetic tests.
Health
ELLY TEMAN
Ex-Portlander’s surrogacy book draws on Israel study

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