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Intimate Publics: Race, Property, and Personhood

Intimate Publics: Race, Property, and Personhood American Literature see him as their baby.’’ 6 Or in Donna Fasano’s words: ‘‘He has two mothers. I am his mother and Mrs. Rogers definitely is his genetic mother.’’ 7 Rudolph Silas, attorney for the Rogerses, countered: ‘‘The child can only have one mother, and on that we’re very adamant.’’ 8 By the end of summer, the court moved to settle the dispute once and for all by declaring Deborah Perry-Rogers the biological (and hence legal) mother. While earlier court cases involving reproductive technologies raised similar issues about the authoritative status of genetics versus gestation, the Fasano-Rogers case is importantly unique in the history of assisted conception in the United States: It features the first woman, Donna Fasano, to be defined as both genetic mother (to the white child) and gestational surrogate (to the black child) in the same live birth.9 In addition, there is Deborah Perry-Rogers, an infertile black woman, whose very infertility is culturally illegible in a dominant imaginary overwritten by notions of hyperreproductive and socially vampiristic black maternity.10 How she secures her claim to natural maternity is a story of twin contracts: with the fertility clinic that offered technological assistance for genetic reproduction and with http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Literature Duke University Press

Intimate Publics: Race, Property, and Personhood

American Literature , Volume 74 (4) – Dec 1, 2002

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2002 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0002-9831
eISSN
1527-2117
DOI
10.1215/00029831-74-4-859
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

American Literature see him as their baby.’’ 6 Or in Donna Fasano’s words: ‘‘He has two mothers. I am his mother and Mrs. Rogers definitely is his genetic mother.’’ 7 Rudolph Silas, attorney for the Rogerses, countered: ‘‘The child can only have one mother, and on that we’re very adamant.’’ 8 By the end of summer, the court moved to settle the dispute once and for all by declaring Deborah Perry-Rogers the biological (and hence legal) mother. While earlier court cases involving reproductive technologies raised similar issues about the authoritative status of genetics versus gestation, the Fasano-Rogers case is importantly unique in the history of assisted conception in the United States: It features the first woman, Donna Fasano, to be defined as both genetic mother (to the white child) and gestational surrogate (to the black child) in the same live birth.9 In addition, there is Deborah Perry-Rogers, an infertile black woman, whose very infertility is culturally illegible in a dominant imaginary overwritten by notions of hyperreproductive and socially vampiristic black maternity.10 How she secures her claim to natural maternity is a story of twin contracts: with the fertility clinic that offered technological assistance for genetic reproduction and with

Journal

American LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2002

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