16 J. Gender Race & Just. 187 (2013)
Transformative Reproduction

handle is hein.journals/jgrj16 and id is 195 raw text is: Transformative Reproduction

Professor Kimberly M Mutcherson*
I. INTRODUCTION
Technology drives societal transformation in multiple realms, including
in the world of making babies. The story of assisted reproduction is
sometimes told as a Disney fairy tale in which the happily ever after ending
involves a healthy baby being born to a smiling, married, opposite-sex,
White couple. Stories of this kind appear with regularity in mainstream
media.t Other assisted reproduction stories are more akin to a Brothers
Grimm fairy tale in that they focus on the less rosy consequences of
technology-enabled births, exemplified by the media coverage surrounding
Nadya Suleman, or Octomom, and the fourteen children that she is
struggling to raise as a single parent.2 Ultimately, these fairy tale versions of
* Associate Professor of Law, Rutgers School of Law-Camden. This work owes itself to the
numerous conversations I have been privileged to have with friends, colleagues, and sometimes
strangers about the meaning of reproduction. More specifically, this Article benefited from the input
of participants at the January 2012 meeting of the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Network, the
faculty of the Temple University Beasley School of Law, participants in the Northeastern People of
Color Legal Scholarship Conference held at Hofstra Law as well as the insights of Ann Freedman
and Lisa Ikemoto. Many thanks to Erin Train and Jamie Gershkow at the Earle Mack School of Law
at Drexel University and Jacquie Hyunh-Linenberg and Ashley Costello at the Rutgers School of
Law-Camden for their research assistance. As ever, the challenge of writing about making families is
made less burdensome by Samantha, Max, and Josephine whose presence in my life has been utterly
transformative.
I.   One example of this is the proliferation of positive new stories about celebrity couples
who bring children into their lives with the assistance of gestational surrogates. Examples include
the widely covered birth of twins to Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick via a gestational
surrogate. Luchina Fisher, Sarah Jessica Parker's Surrogate Gives Birth to Twins, ABC, June 23,
2009,    http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/ReproductiveHealth/story?id=7908689&page=I#.T-
iS65ExDKE. The birth of a daughter to Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban with the assistance of a
surrogate attracted similar coverage. Luchina Fisher, Surrogate Surge: Now Nicole Kidman, Keith
Urban Welcome New Baby, ABC, Jan. 18, 2011, http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/nicole-
kidman-keith-urban-baby-daughter-surrogate/story?id=12635485#.T-iTdJExDKE.  The  actress
Elizabeth Banks and her husband are another example a couple whose birth by surrogate was widely
covered. Anya Leon, Elizabeth Banks: Surrogacy Is a Big Leap of Faith, PEOPLE (Jan. 3, 2012),
http://celebritybabies.people.com/2012/01/03/hunger-games-elizabeth-banks-talks-surrogacy-in-
lucky/.
2.   'Octomom' Nadya Suleman's Bankruptcy Case Thrown Out, L.A. TIMES, May 16, 2012,
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/anow/2012/05/octomom-bankruptcy-thrown-out.html  (describing
the beleaguered mother's failure to timely file for bankruptcy). Ms. Suleman has now turned to a

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