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On Surrogate Motherhood: “Ina Kapatid Anak”

Posted on : 02-12-2012 | By : tvadvo_vina | In : Reviews, TV

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An ABS-CBN primetime teleserye, Ina Kapatid Anak is a story about the family – a surrogate mother, a sister and a daughter. It features a powerhouse cast composed of four of the hottest young stars of their generation Kim Chui, Xian Lim, Enchong Dee, and Maja Salvador; highly-acclaimed seasoned actors Janice de Belen, Cherry Pie Picache and Ariel Rivera; and well respected veteran stars Ronaldo Valdez, Pilar Pilapil and Eddie Gutierrez. It is directed by Don Cuaresma and Jojo Saguin.

Photo credit here.

Read more by clicking on “Read Full Article”.

The story involves surrogate motherhood from whence the title is derived. Ina, is portrayed by Cherrie Pie Picache who agreed to bear the baby of her Kapatid, Janice de Belen and husband, Ariel Rivera. The baby Anak born is Kim Chiu. Hence, we can expect its outcome and plot to revolve around rivalry, deceit, power, with the usual magnified life complications.

This is an opportunity to explain what surrogacy means and its ethical, moral and psychological implications. (source: Wikipedia)

Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person. This woman, the surrogate mother, may be the child’s genetic mother (called traditional surrogacy), or she may be genetically unrelated to the child (called gestational surrogacy).

In a traditional surrogacy, the child may be conceived via home artificial insemination using fresh or frozen sperm or impregnated via IUI (intrauterine insemination), or ICI (intracervical insemination) performed at a health clinic.

A gestational surrogacy requires the transfer of a previously created embryo, and for this reason the process always takes place in a clinical setting.

The intended parent or parents, sometimes called the social parents, may arrange a surrogate pregnancy because of female infertility, other medical issues which make pregnancy or delivery impossible, risky or otherwise undesirable. The sperm or eggs may be provided by the ‘commissioning’ parents, but donor sperm, eggs and embryos may also be used.

Ethical issues that have been raised with regards to surrogacy include:

  • To what extent should we be concerned about exploitation, commodification, and/or coercion when women are paid to be pregnant and deliver babies, especially in cases where there are large wealth and power differentials between intended parents and surrogates?
  • To what extent is it right for society to permit women to make contracts about the use of their bodies? To what extent is it a woman’s human right to make contracts regarding the use of her body?
  • What does motherhood mean? What is the relationship between genetic motherhood, gestational motherhood, and social motherhood? Is it possible to socially or legally conceive of multiple modes of motherhood and/or the recognition of multiple mothers?
  • Should a child born via surrogacy have the right to know the identity of any/all of the people involved in that child’s conception and delivery?

On the moral issue, the Catholic teaching on surrogacy can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Point 2376.

The surrogate uterus technique entails the dissociation of husband and wife by the intrusion of a person other than the couple. This is gravely immoral since it infringes the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. It betrays the spouses’ right to become a father and a mother only through each other.

Psychological issues (the neutrality of this section is disputed):

A study by the Family and Child Psychology Research Centre at City University, London, UK in 2002 concluded that surrogate mothers rarely had difficulty relinquishing rights to a surrogate child and that the intended mothers showed greater warmth to the child than mothers conceiving naturally.

Anthropological studies of surrogates have shown that surrogates engage in various distancing techniques throughout the surrogate pregnancy so as to ensure that they do not become emotionally attached to the baby. Many surrogates intentionally try to foster the development of emotional attachment between the intended mother and the surrogate child.

Instead of the popular expectation that surrogates feel traumatized after relinquishment, an overwhelming majority describe feeling empowered by their surrogacy experience.

A 2011 study from the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge found that surrogacy does not have a negative impact on the surrogate’s own children.

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