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The Baby Chase: How Surrogacy Is Transforming The American Family (2013)

by Leslie Morgan Steiner(Favorite Author)
3.52 of 5 Votes: 4
125000294X (ISBN13: 9781250002945)
St. Martin's Press
review 1: A provocative book on an ethically difficult subject. The title is somewhat misleading, however -- surrogacy is an option chosen by a very small percentage of infertile people. The central figures in this book are a nurse and firefighter, a married couple who tried repeatedly to conceive or adopt a child, and, after multiple failures, opted to have three children carried by paid surrogates in India using a donor egg from a third woman. The book also gives a rather detailed account of the various legal, financial, and ethical issues involved, many of which had never occurred to me, and talks about some of the pitfalls including the Mary Beth Whitehead case (the surrogate, who was the biological mother, decided she wanted to keep the child she was paid to carry for someone ... moreelse). Today when a donor egg is needed, an egg donor unrelated to the surrogate is used. Because of the high financial and other costs and the thorny legal and ethical issues involved in surrogacy, it seems unlikely to become commonplace or to "transform the American family." It seems more likely to be used by same-sex male couples, or by infertile couples who have a close relative or friend willing to serve as surrogate without pay (although insurance compensation, birth defects, health risks to the surrogate, and other issues still may arise). The notion of hiring a surrogate desperate for money from a less-affluent country seems a little troublesome -- one feels compassion for all people involved in a situation in which there are no easy answers. I am glad that the choices made by the main characters in this particular story seem to have worked out to the satisfaction of the childless couple, the egg donor, and the surrogates.
review 2: An interesting story, and reasonably well researched, but there are so many uncomfortable assumptions made on the author's part (including the persistent use of the word 'natural,' as in, 'wanting a biological child at any cost is only natural' with no explanation for how the author defines the word) that they end up undermining the entire book. Also, less important, but there are some really wince-worthy moments craft-wise (oh, the awkward similes!). less
Reviews (see all)
Scary but informative, although perhaps a bit biased towards surrogacy perhaps
Interesting story and facts.
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