Sister-to-sister gestational 'surrogacy' 13 years on: A narrative of parenthood

M. Kirkman, A. Kirkman

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15 Citations (Scopus)


'Wonder Bub' and 'Alice in Wonderland' were the bold newspaper headlines when the author's daughter was born in 1988, because she was conceived using her mother's egg and donor sperm, and gestated by her aunt. The technique was described as gestational surrogacy, and Alice was the first in Australia (the second known in the world) to be thus conceived. This event caused interest and controversy not only in Australia, where it took place, but around the world. In the midst of the controversy, the author and her husband had to learn to parent a baby to whom she had not given birth and of whom he was not the genetic father. This paper describes how the extended family worked together to make Alice's birth possible and how her parents developed a narrative through which to make it comprehensible to Alice. The author considers both personal experience and cultural meaning as she reflects on the 13 years since Alice's birth. The paper concludes with comment from Alice at 13.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-147
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes

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