Surrogacy and the Reproduction of Normative Family on TV

  • Lulu Le Vay

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Science and Popular Culture book series (PSSPC)

About this book


This book examines the proliferation of surrogacy storylines on TV, exploring themes of infertility, motherhood, parenting and family. It investigates how, despite reproductive technologies’ ability to flex contours of family, the shows’ narratives work to uphold the white, heterosexual, genetically-reproduced family as the ideal. In dialogue with responses from a range of female viewers, both mothers and non-mothers, the book scrutinises the construction of family ideology on television with studies including Coronation Street (1960-present),Giuliana & Bill (2009-2014), Rules of Engagement (2007-2013), The New Normal (2012-2013), Top of the Lake: China Girl (2017) The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-present) and film Baby Mama (2008). These studies raise a number of questions; is homosexuality only acceptable when it echoes heterosexual norms? Are female characters only fulfilled when they are genetic mothers? Does heterosexual romance override technology in the cure for infertility? While the answers to these questions may suggest that television still conforms to heteronormative narratives, this book importantly demonstrates that audiences desire alternative happy endings that show infertile female characters more positively and recognise alternative kinship formations as meaningful.


television genetics audience studies homosexuality female sexuality gender mothers romance heterosexual heteronormative queer infertility children body technologies baby intimacy

Authors and affiliations

  • Lulu Le Vay
    • 1
  1. 1.LondonUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-17569-6
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-17570-2
  • Buy this book on publisher's site