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Gestational Surrogacy…Coming Soon to a Movie Theater and TV Near You

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:07pm

By Mary Ellen McLaughlin

Maybe I’m alone, but I’ve never thought of gestational surrogacy as being particularly funny. Still, the folks in Hollywood seem to think so. This spring, both a sitcom on FOX and a movie starring Tina Fey have characters who use a surrogate to have a baby.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted that gestational surrogacy is getting some national attention. I just hope that it doesn’t make surrogacy seem like a quick fix for infertility. Or worse, that anyone can be a surrogate. As this article in the Columbus Dispatch points out, surrogates are required to have been pregnant before. Another flaw is that both the movie and TV show are set in New York City. But surrogacy has been illegal in New York since 1993.

The surrogates aren’t exactly terrific candidates. On the TV show “The Return of Jezebel James,” the surrogate is the main character’s sister, an unemployed former drug user who has never been pregnant. “Baby Mama,” features a surrogate who is uneducated, immature and possibly mentally unbalanced (the previews show her peeing in the sink after she can’t figure out how to lift the baby-proofed toilet seat). She also loses her apartment and shows up at the intended mother’s door. That’s not how I want to see surrogates represented. The women we match are mothers with stable home lives.

Surrogates – we’d love to hear from you! How do you feel about the way gestational surrogates are being represented by these roles?

By Mary Ellen McLaughlin

Maybe I’m alone, but I’ve never thought of gestational surrogacy as being particularly funny. Still, the folks in Hollywood seem to think so. This spring, both a sitcom on FOX and a movie starring Tina Fey have characters who use a surrogate to have a baby.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted that gestational surrogacy is getting some national attention. I just hope that it doesn’t make surrogacy seem like a quick fix for infertility. Or worse, that anyone can be a surrogate. As this article in the Columbus Dispatch points out, surrogates are required to have been pregnant before. Another flaw is that both the movie and TV show are set in New York City. But surrogacy has been illegal in New York since 1993.

The surrogates aren’t exactly terrific candidates. On the TV show “The Return of Jezebel James,” the surrogate is the main character’s sister, an unemployed former drug user who has never been pregnant. “Baby Mama,” features a surrogate who is uneducated, immature and possibly mentally unbalanced (the previews show her peeing in the sink after she can’t figure out how to lift the baby-proofed toilet seat). She also loses her apartment and shows up at the intended mother’s door. That’s not how I want to see surrogates represented. The women we match are mothers with stable home lives.

Surrogates – we’d love to hear from you! How do you feel about the way gestational surrogates are being represented by these roles?

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