"She is not the mother"
IamAporcupine · 10/04/2022 00:15
I am having a discussion re. surrogacy - gay couple, one of the guy's sister has offered (after initially saying no way) to carry the baby for them. It's not clear to me if she is also donating the egg too or not. Either way, in my eyes, she is the (biological) mother.
This woman is arguing that the sister will not be the mother, and thinks she should be called aunt.
I am aware, of course, that being a mother is much more than giving birth, and that you can also be a mother without giving birth. But this woman's attitude is almost like the birthing mother does not exist, and should not even be named, which I find very dehumanizing.
DropYourSword · 10/04/2022 00:34
I didn't end up doing it, but I was at one point considering being a surrogate for my friends who had awful struggles with trying to conceive.
I was very adamant during our discussions that I would not be the "mother" at all to the future child. It would have been his sperm and her egg. They would be the mother and father.
I don't think it's at all dehumanising if that's what you choose.
Cattenberg · 10/04/2022 00:46
The baby would probably see things differently. The birth mother’s voice is the first voice the baby hears and the one s/he hears most clearly. Also, babies don’t even realise that they and their mother are separate people until they are about seven months old.
Midlifemusings · 10/04/2022 00:49
If she doesn't donate the egg then she isn't the biological mother. She is a surrogate. This is not her child biologically or familially. A child can only have two biological parents - the ones who contribute to their DNA.
She will be the baby's aunt. Familially the child will have two fathers. No one is taking anything away from her if this is all being done with full disclosure and consent.
Kanaloa · 10/04/2022 01:02
Well she is the biological mother, but I can see why the child would not be encouraged to call her mother/mum/mummy. It would be confusing and potentially very upsetting for the child.
I personally disagree with surrogacy as a concept but I don’t think it’s that outlandish that this child wouldn’t call the bio mum ‘mum’ because they won’t live with her and she’ll be like an aunt to them.
JenniferBarkley · 10/04/2022 01:49
I guess she'll be both birth mother and aunt. She won't be the mother because she won't be parenting the child.
I have conflicting thoughts on surrogacy, but this seems as benign a situation as possible. It's up to the parents, the sister and the baby what terms they use.
OhHolyJesus · 10/04/2022 08:26
If she doesn't donate the egg then she isn't the biological mother. She is a surrogate. This is not her child biologically or familially
Genetic mother - the women who provides the DNA through harvesting and donating an egg. Same with sperm for genetic father.
Biological mother - the woman who gives birth as pregnancy and birth is a biological process, otherwise none of us would be here.
Legal mother - the woman who has legal parental rights and responsibilities, through fostering or adoption, she is the woman who has guardianship and makes decisions over say medical decisions.
In this case there is no legal mother but there are one or two mothers as two men can't make a baby.
As the woman is the sister of one of the men she is an aunt to the child through the sibling relationship but as she also grew and gave birth to the child she is the biological mother, or birth mother. This is also downgraded to 'surrogate', but if anything the two men are a 'surrogate' for the mother as 'surrogate' means deputy or stand in.
At least the child will likely grow up and know the mother, even if she takes the aunt role in his or her life.
IamAporcupine · 10/04/2022 11:06
I should have clarified - the discussion was not so much re. how the sister should be referred to in the future. I would not expect her to be called 'mum' if she is not parenting the child, as that would obviously be confusing.
There was no nuance in the discussion. This woman was not saying that the sister would not have the role of a mother, she was arguing that she is not the mother. As if acknowledging this somehow invalidated the fathers' role?
OhHolyJesus · 10/04/2022 15:47
I wouldn't say an egg donor for a child I carried was the biological mother, as I would have grown and birthed the baby, and we don't attribute any rights or responsibility to women who donate eggs. But if I had a child from an egg donor then she would be the genetic mother and any other children she had or shared her DNA with would be the genetic siblings of my child.
But surrogacy is not donating eggs, or is at least as well as, so they are too different things; genetic and biological.
One of the dads will be the genetic father, but both will be the legal parents with a parental order granted. The mother doesn't need to be erased in order for that to be true.
Kanaloa · 10/04/2022 16:14
Was there perhaps a misunderstanding? Just because in your op you say the other person argued that ‘she would not be the mother and should be called aunt.’
Which implies she was talking about ‘mother’ as a role/name rather than a biological reality. The same way an adopted child might call their adoptive mum ‘mum’ and not see their bio mum as a mum to them even though obviously their bio mum is actually their mother. Otherwise I don’t see where ‘she should be called aunt’ would come into it.
Midlifemusings · 10/04/2022 18:02
Birth mother and biological mother can be two different people. You are only the biological mother if the child was conceived from your egg. In traditional surrogacy the birth mother is the biological mother. In gestational sugrrogacy where a donor egg is used for conception, then the surrogate is the birth mother but not the biological mother.
Biological parents are those who formed your DNA. Birth mother is whose uterus you grew in / were birthed from and mother can be anyone who raises a child.
ImAvingOops · 10/04/2022 18:30
This thread highlights one of the many things that is wrong with surrogacy - a child will be born where there is no clear mother. An egg might come from one woman, another carries and gives birth and neither feels that they are the 'real' mum. And children should be entitled to have someone who is unequivocally their mother, even if she isn't raising them.
Delphinium20 · 11/04/2022 20:08
DrDinosaur · 14/04/2022 07:49
I agree, deliberately creating children without a mother ( as both the egg donor and the birth mother can dissociate and claim they are not a ‘real’ mother) is horrifying. I think egg donation should only be allowed when the birth mother is also the intended social mother.
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