Selling “genetically gifted” human eggs on the free market for a hefty price. In vitro fertilization. Fetal rights. Prenatal diagnosis. Surrogacy. All are instances of biomedical and social “advancements” with which we have become familiar in recent years. Yet these issues are often regarded as distinct or only loosely related under the rubric of reproduction.
Barbara Katz Rothman demonstrates how they form a complex whole that demands of us in response a woman-centered, class-sensitive way of understanding motherhood. We need a social policy for dealing with mothers and motherhood that is consistent with feminist politics and feminist theory. Her book show how we as a society must first recognize that the real needs of mother, father, and children have been swept aside in an attempt to reduce the complex process of human reproduction to a clinical event that can be controlled by medical technology. Rothman suggests ways to accomplish social and legal change that would allow technological advances to affirm motherhood and the mother-child relationship without cost to women’s identity.
This new edition of Recreating Motherhood contains exciting updates. Rothman shows how this material is key in understanding the family, not just motherhood. And a new chapter, “Reflections on a Decade,” explores how new reproductive technologies combine with new marketing and new genetics to pose troubling social questions.