Movie star Nicole Kidman and her husband, country singer Keith Urban, both of whom hail from Australia, had a baby. They are the child’s biological parents, but their fertilized egg was implanted into another woman, thus farming out the task of bearing the baby and giving birth. I don’t know if some medical condition made this process necessary–if so, I’m not criticizing them, not being sure what I think of that. Or if it is an example on another plane of the wealthy exploiting workers for their “labor.”
At any rate, what I want us to notice is a word that I haven’t heard before for the woman who had the baby. Not “mother” but “gestational carrier.” From the couple’s statement:
“Our family is truly blessed, and just so thankful, to have been given the gift of baby Faith Margaret. No words can adequately convey the incredible gratitude that we feel for everyone who was so supportive throughout this process, in particular our gestational carrier.”
We may be hearing that term more and more as “reproductive engineering” proliferates. Being a “gestational carrier” may become a profession, with women who can afford that service opting out of pregnancy altogether, while still getting to be moms.
So, all of you Solomons. . . .Does a “gestational carrier” have any claims to motherhood? Do you see any ethical problems with this as a medical procedure for a woman who is unable to carry a child to term? At least the married couple’s “one flesh union” is preserved and extended to the child, since no extra-marital semi-adulterous egg donor or sperm donor were used.
Do you think this might catch on, not just with women who cannot carry a child, but with women who want a child but don’t want to go through pregnancy? Mothers, would you have been open to this option if it were available and if you could afford it?