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The Best Books on Surrogacy

We take a look at the best books available on surrogacy that should help anyone interested in surrogacy to learn about the medical, legal, as well as emotional aspects of opting for surrogate motherhood as a pathway to parenthood.

10. Pathways to Parenthood: The Ultimate Guide to Surrogacy by Stacy Ziegler

This is an invaluable how-to-guide on surrogacy that covers traditional surrogacy via artificial insemination as well as gestational surrogacy via IVF. It demystifies the mystery surrounding surrogacy with everything broken down into simple terms and should help you in deciding whether surrogacy is the ideal path for you. You will also learn about the medical, legal, as well as the emotional aspects of choosing surrogacy as a path to parenthood.

The best thing about this book is that it was written by a two-time gestational surrogate with experience in both independent arrangements and agency. Additionally, the author has previously held a position in an established and reputable egg donation and surrogacy agency based in southern California. If you are just curious or have ever considered surrogacy as a way to build a family, then this is the book for you.

9. Considering Surrogacy by Linda Oliver

This is a very interesting book on a subject that few are conversant with. It provides information beginning with the definition of the process, the legalities that need to be considered, and the state laws governing surrogacy. It then goes on to explain in detail the actual process and the numerous obstacles that could hamper the process- family situations, emotional stability, physical characteristics, and testing are all considered.

Providing information to both the parents-to-be and the surrogate in a concise and clear manner, it goes a long way in helping both parties understand what a financial and emotional toll that this can exact on all involved. A fantastic informational book that anyone considering surrogacy should beyond doubt and without question read.

8. Surrogacy Was the Way: Twenty Intended Mothers Tell Their Stories by Zara Griswold

This book documents the stories of twenty women who were able to have children through surrogacy. In today’s age and day, surrogacy is a complete possibility, but anyone considering such a path to parenthood ought to be aware of the pros and cons. The women featured opt for surrogacy for a variety of reasons, ranging from unexplained fertility to cancer to Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MKRH) syndrome and everything in between. While some of the journeys go quite smoothly, others are riddled with obstacles.

This book is recommended wholeheartedly as it is the truth from the perspective of intended parents. Granted, we have all heard perspectives from surrogate mothers, the sacrifices they make to help achieve a pregnancy for a couple in need, what they go through etc. But those who suffer loss after loss before deciding to pursue surrogacy finally have their voices heard in these 20 short and interesting stories.

7. Birthing a Mother: The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self by Elly Teman

In this insightful and beautifully written book, Elly Teman shows how intended mothers and surrogates carefully work around their cooperative endeavor. Drawing on his fieldwork in Anthropology among Jewish women, interspersed with global cross-cultural perspectives, the author traces the processes by which intended mothers achieve a complicated transition to motherhood as surrogates relinquish any maternal claim to the baby. This groundbreaking analysis reveals that as surrogates emotionally and psychologically disengage from the fetus that they carry, they end up developing a lasting and profound bond with the mother-to-be (intended mother).

This is a beautiful, albeit haunting book on the complex new way of addressing the age-old human problem that is childlessness.

6. Surrogate Motherhood: International Perspectives by Shelly Day Sclater

This book is a multidisciplinary collection of essays written by leading practitioners and researchers that explore practical, psychological, social, ethical and legal aspects of surrogate motherhood. What sets it apart from many others on the topic is that the international perspective adopted here offers an opportunity for matters of policy, law, and practice to be debated and shared across countries.

This absorbing and enlightening read should be of interest to academics, practitioners, and policy makers in various fields, including psychology, medicine, social policy, and law. It should also serve as a helpful addition to University libraries as well as interest policy makers, researchers, and practitioners and those working in areas such as gender studies, relationship counseling, and family law.

5. The Baby Business: How Money, Science, and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception by Debora L Spar

Here, Debora contends that it is time people acknowledged the commercial truth surrounding reproduction and in the process, establish standards that govern its transactions. In a fascinating and behind-the-scenes account, she combines interviews and pioneering research with the industry’s forefront reproductive trailblazers and scientists to provide a glimpse of how the industry works: what defines the clientele, how prices are set, who makes money, and who the baby-makers are.

This is the first purely commercial account of an industry that deals in some of humanity’s most intimate issues and challenges us to consider the ethical perils and financial promise as surrogacy inevitably moves forward.

4. Surrogate Motherhood: Conception in the Heart (Institutional Structures of Feeling) by Helena Ragone

Of all the available reproductive techniques available today, surrogacy is possible the least understood and most controversial option. Although there have been thousands of surrogate-assisted births, perceptions about surrogate motherhood have been colored by ongoing ethical and legal debates and by the media. Here, however, Ragone (cultural anthropologist) sets the controversial issues aside and presents the surrogacy world as described and perceived by those who are most intimately connected to it- from couples who have contacted surrogates to surrogate mothers themselves to program directors and their staff. Based on the latest theoretical research and extensive interviews, this unique research is compelling and frank while avoiding sensationalism and judgment.

3. Surrogate Motherhood and the Politics of Reproduction by Susan Markens

Susan Markens tackles one of the most contentious issues on the fertility front in a book that illuminates the cultural wars that have erupted over today’s new-age reproductive technologies. In this innovative analysis of legislative responses to surrogate motherhood in the bellwether states of California and New York, the writer explores how discourses on choice, rights, genetics, race, family, and gender have shaped the policies that target this issue. She examines the opinions of key players including the media, religious groups, women’s organizations, legislators, and others. In a study that reveals surprising ideological agreement among those with divergent views on surrogacy, Markens challenges the common assumptions about how we respond to reproductive technologies whilst offering a fascinating picture of how social policy is shaped by reproductive politics.

2. A Sacred Thread: A True Story of Becoming a Mother and Finding a Family- Half A World Away by Adrienne Arieff

This is an often funny, inspiring and true story of one mother’s journey to starting a family. The author once thought that she would never realize her dream of becoming a mother. However, together with her husband, they soon discovered that while parenthood was still possible, it would require a gift from a total stranger who was half a world away. This stranger was Vaina- happily married with 3 small children but with meager means to build a better life or support her family.

Eye-opening and poignant, this book is a journey that these two women took to create a family via foreign surrogacy. It is a tale of immersing oneself in a totally different culture, joining a group of expectant mothers who are bonded by their hope for children, and following them as they deal with the euphoric lows and highs of the journey, and finally the development of an unbreakable bond between women who, except for a shared love of family, have little else in common.

1. Body/Politics: Studies in Reproduction, Production, and (Re)Construction by Thomas C. Shevory

Negotiating the terrain between eco-pessimism and techno-optimism this book is fundamental in establishing the political connections that exist between technologies of the environment, property, and the body’. Specific technologies that relate to the body such as in vitro fertilization and surrogacy are examined in relation to their legal and political constructions.

The above books should help anyone interested in surrogacy to learn about the medical, legal, as well as emotional aspects of opting for surrogate motherhood as a pathway to parenthood.