'This Neo-Natal Ménage À Trois': British Media Framing of Transnational Surrogacy

van den Akker, O., Fronek, P., Blyth, E., & Frith, L. (2015). ‘This neo-natal ménage à trois’: British media framing of transnational surrogacy. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 1-14. doi:10.1080/02646838.2015.1106454

Posted: 24 Nov 2015

See all articles by Olga van den Akker

Olga van den Akker

Middlesex University

Patricia Fronek

Griffith University - School of Human Services and Social Work

Eric Blyth

University of Huddersfield

Lucy Frith

University of Liverpool

Date Written: November 24, 2015

Abstract

Background: Media framing can influence people's perceptions of social changes in family building, and has the potential to influence their future actions.

Objectives: To analyse the type of framing and construction used in British newsprint of transnational commercial surrogacy.

Methods: UK newspapers were searched using the search engine Lexis-Nexis. One hundred and ninety-seven articles were analysed. Content analysis was undertaken to identify the use of gain, loss, neutral, alarm and vulnerability frames, as well as type of construction (i.e. ethical, social, legal, financial and medical). Four researchers independently analysed articles using a coding strategy.

Results: Differences between serious (mainly legal, financial), middle-market (legal) and tabloid (social, financial) newspapers were found. There were three main foci; buying babies -- affordable only to those wealthy enough to pay for it; the legal complications of transnational surrogacy -- reporting a sense of the legal system lagging behind this practice; and gay families -- repeatedly questioning their suitability as parents -- demonstrating a prevailing heterosexual stereotype about reproduction and parenting.

Conclusions: Stereotyping was prevalent and the welfare of children and medical aspects of transnational surrogacy were minimally addressed, indicating the media selectively influences its readership.

Suggested Citation

van den Akker, Olga and Fronek, Patricia and Blyth, Eric and Frith, Lucy, 'This Neo-Natal Ménage À Trois': British Media Framing of Transnational Surrogacy (November 24, 2015). van den Akker, O., Fronek, P., Blyth, E., & Frith, L. (2015). ‘This neo-natal ménage à trois’: British media framing of transnational surrogacy. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 1-14. doi:10.1080/02646838.2015.1106454. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2694944

Olga Van den Akker

Middlesex University ( email )

The Burroughs
London, NW4 4BT
United Kingdom

Patricia Fronek (Contact Author)

Griffith University - School of Human Services and Social Work ( email )

Parklands Drive
Soutport
Gold Coast, QLD 4222
Australia
61 (0) 7 55529345 (Phone)
61 (0) 7 55528562 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.griffith.edu.au/health/school-human-services-social-work/staff/dr-patricia-fronek

Eric Blyth

University of Huddersfield

Queensgate
Huddersfield HD1 3DH
United Kingdom

Lucy Frith

University of Liverpool ( email )

Chatham Street
Liverpool, L69 7ZA
United Kingdom

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