Author Topic: "Gestational carrier" terminology causes furore in Australia  (Read 3239 times)

Offline magicmountain

  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,677
  • Fire from heaven
"Gestational carrier" terminology causes furore in Australia
« on: January 21, 2011, 04:48:48 am »
Michelle Higgins writes:

The newest term to describe the birth mother in a surrogacy arrangement is ''gestational carrier''.

The term is eerily reminiscent of the language used in Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel A Handmaid's Tale. In response to the announcement of the Kidman-Urban family on Tuesday, the social networking site Twitter was aflame with debate about the term, rather than the act itself. Questioning the language, whether or not this is the standard terminology in the American context, is not the same as ''bashing'' the ''consumers'' or ''recipients'' of the services of the ''gestational carrier''....

Surrogacy is here to stay. I am not proposing, or even advocating, that we should turn back the clock. But the language we use to describe surrogacy has a profound impact on all participants in the process.

It is wrong to silence or eliminate the face of the person in this exchange who has given herself so completely for the benefit of the other parties. And using the term ''gestational carrier'' does exactly that. In one fell swoop her role becomes nothing more than that of an incubator or ''walking womb''.

Language matters. The insinuation of the term ''gestational carrier'' into our vocabulary changes the very terms of the discourse of surrogacy.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/language-reflects-a-dark-side-of-surrogacy-20110120-19xxp.html
Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all. - Alexander the Great

Offline delalluvia

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,289
  • "Truth is an iron bride"
Re: "Gestational carrier" terminology causes furore in Australia
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2011, 07:59:01 pm »
It is wrong to silence or eliminate the face of the person in this exchange who has given herself so completely for the benefit of the other parties. And using the term ''gestational carrier'' does exactly that. In one fell swoop her role becomes nothing more than that of an incubator or ''walking womb''.

I think the language is protective.  It's meant - not to silence the voice and blank the face of the person - but to emphasize their role and the fact - the FACT - that the woman has sold her services as a womb.  She's not doing this for free.  So why wouldn't the language fit?  Much like the term 'wet nurse' is used for women who suckle other people's children.  Nothing in that title suggests the woman is a nursing 'mother' even though she is.

It's the same sort of language used in other business transactions.

You have a mortgage on a house?  Legally, the house is not your house until you make that last payment.  Thus the language used by mortgage companies to the mortgagor is "the property".  They never refer to it when talking to the mortgagor as "your house", because it isn't.

Same with a car.  Have a car loan?  The language used is never "your car", until you pay it off.  Until then it's "the unit".

The language is meant to take the emotion out of the terminology.

I can definitely see why they would want to depersonalize the language and I can't say I blame them.

Offline magicmountain

  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,677
  • Fire from heaven
Re: "Gestational carrier" terminology causes furore in Australia
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 01:33:53 am »
Del you may be surprised to learn that our state (NSW) is a bout to make ccommercial as opposed to altruistic surrogacy illegal - even if you go overseas. It will atrract a hefty fine and a 2-year jail sentence.
Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all. - Alexander the Great

Offline delalluvia

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,289
  • "Truth is an iron bride"
Re: "Gestational carrier" terminology causes furore in Australia
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 01:56:40 pm »
Del you may be surprised to learn that our state (NSW) is a bout to make ccommercial as opposed to altruistic surrogacy illegal - even if you go overseas. It will atrract a hefty fine and a 2-year jail sentence.

I think NSW willl find the law hard to enforce.

Offline brian

  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,429
Re: "Gestational carrier" terminology causes furore in Australia
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 06:46:19 pm »
I think NSW willl find the law hard to enforce.
Why?
If you go overseas without a child and return with one who needs to be registered, it will be a bit hard to avoid awkward questions.

Offline delalluvia

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,289
  • "Truth is an iron bride"
Re: "Gestational carrier" terminology causes furore in Australia
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 11:23:38 pm »
Why?
If you go overseas without a child and return with one who needs to be registered, it will be a bit hard to avoid awkward questions.

Who can prove you went over there without a child in one's belly?

Marge_Innavera

  • Guest
Re: "Gestational carrier" terminology causes furore in Australia
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2011, 01:35:38 pm »
It is wrong to silence or eliminate the face of the person in this exchange who has given herself so completely for the benefit of the other parties. And using the term ''gestational carrier'' does exactly that. In one fell swoop her role becomes nothing more than that of an incubator or ''walking womb''.

No kidding.  How often, especially in discussions about abortion, do you hear women routinely referred to as "the womb"?  Not even a whole body, let along a whole person.