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The Baby Chase: How Surrogacy Is Transforming the American Familyby Leslie Morgan Steiner
Synopses & Reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of Crazy Love comes a riveting new narrative about surrogate pregnancy from both sides of the equation—the parents and the gestational carrier.
Once considered a desperate, even morally suspect option, surrogacy is now sweeping headlines, transforming the lives of celebrity mothers and fathers like Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Kidman and Elton John, and changing the face of motherhood and the American family. But how much do we really know about it? And is it really as easy and accessible - emotionally, financially, legally and physically - as magazines make it out to be? We often hear about successful outcomes, but little about the journey - about the precious hope that starts it all, the ups and downs of finding a surrogate, the heartache and obstacles, the risks and expenses at every step, or the unbelievable joy when years of determination pay off. In The Baby Chase, acclaimed writer Leslie Morgan Steiner weaves three stories together — of a nurse, a firefighter, and the Indian gestational carriers and doctors who helped them — to provide one intensely personal look at what makes surrogacy so controversial, fascinating, and in some cases, the only ray of hope for today's infertile parents-to-be.
Rhonda Wile and her husband Gerry struggled for years with infertility. With perseverance that shocked everyone around them, they tried every procedure and option available - unsuccessfully - until they finally decided to hire a surrogate. While surrogacy was being touted as a miracle for hopeful parents, for Rhonda and Gerry, it seemed an impossible and unaffordable dream. Until they came across the beaming smile of a beautiful Indian woman on the internet… and, within a few short months, embarked on a journey that would take them deep into the emerging world of Indian carriers, international medical tourism, and the global surrogacy community.
Moving, page-turning, and meticulously researched, this complex human story is paired with an examination of the issues—religious, legal, medical and emotional—that shapes surrogacy as a solution both imperfect and life-changing.
"Steiner's (Crazy Love) look at surrogacy is less of a journalistic inquiry into this 'most radical infertility solution' than a compassionate plea for broader acceptance of 'collaborative pregnancy' and 'shared motherhood.' Steiner recounts the evolution of the $10 billion infertility business through the narrative of a Canadian-American couple, Rhonda and Gerry Wile, who turn to the 'nascent industry' of gestational surrogacy in India, where it is not only legal to hire a woman to bear your baby, but much cheaper than in the U.S. Steiner mentions, but lightly glosses over, the many ethical, legal, and societal complications of surrogate birth in favor of stressing her emotional appeals. She describes infertility as a 'crushing, soul-sucking' condition that cripples its victims with lifelong physical and psychological damage. Her portrayal of the Wiles's struggles reveals the deeply embedded cultural reverence for the power of genetics and the need for public understanding — and perhaps oversight — of this 'unmapped emotional, legal, and ethical terrain.' Overall, Steiner succeeds in both aims closest to her heart: to raise awareness about infertility and to share the fulfillment of the Wiles's dream to have 'a baby that felt like theirs.' Photos. Agent: Alice Martell, the Martell Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Crazy Love comes a startling new narrative about surrogacy from both sides of the equation—the parents and the gestational carrier
Rhonda Wile and her husband Gerry struggled for years with infertility. With perseverance shocking to all around them, there wasnt a procedure they wouldnt and didnt try—unsuccessfully—until they decided to look for a surrogate. Once considered a desperate, even morally suspect option, surrogacy had started to claim headlines and transform the lives of celebrities like Nicole Kidman and Elton John. For Rhonda, surrogacy seemed like an impossible and unaffordable dream, until she came across the beaming smile of a beautiful Indian woman on the internet. Within a few short months, she had embarked on a journey that would take her into the shadowy, emerging world of Indian carriers and the global surrogacy community.
In The Baby Chase, acclaimed writer Leslie Morgan Steiner weaves the stories together— of a nurse, a firefighter, and the Indian gestational carrier who made their baby dreams come true. Moving, page-turning, and meticulously researched, this deeply complex human journey is paired with an examination of the issues—religious, legal, medical and emotional—that shapes surrogacy as a solution both exciting and imperfect. Steiner revels in the joy that ultimately infuses one couples lives when—against the odds—their intense, almost irrational desire to bear a child meets with success.
About the Author
LESLIE MORGAN STEINER is the New York Times bestselling author of Crazy Love and the editor of the highly acclaimed anthology Mommy Wars. She is a frequent speaker on surviving domestic abuse, and her TED Talk on relationship violence has been viewed by over one million people worldwide. From 2006 to 2008, she wrote the popular “On Balance” blog for washingtonpost.com. Steiner received a BA from Harvard College and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. She now lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and three children.
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