Tag Archives: surrogacy

Corrie Street 24 Sept. 2017

Beer Launch

Thursday, Newton & Ridley held a launch for a new craft beer at the Rovers. More secrets than beer got spilled.beer launch at rovers return

Tracy and Ken arrived just in time to see Peter holding a pint up to his lips. They went into full ‘no, no, no, how could you Peter, I knew ken-and-tracy-walk-in-roversthis would happen’ mode. ‘Eh? What’s the problem?’ from the brewery rep. Evidently, Newton & Ridley doesn’t do extensive background checks on their licensees. They did not know Peter’s history with alcohol. Nor did they know about his time in jail. Steve, ever helpful, let that one slip.

Evidently, surrogacy agencies also don’t do extensive background checks on their applicants. In the background of the chaos that was jackie-listens-as-peter-explains-pintthe Rovers’ launch sat a potential surrogate mother for Toyah and Peter. She had come to meet them so she could decide if she wanted to carry a child for them. So the process had moved past the administrative level to the actual nuts and bolts of surrogacy, the woman with whom you’d be sharing a joint pregnancy.

Background checks

Toyah and Peter are not going the private route that Izzy and Gary did, with getting their mate Tina to carry their baby. Toyah and Peter peter-sees-tracy-and-kenare doing it the official way, through an agency with presumably vetted surrogates and parents-to-be. The individuals’ backgrounds, family structure, support system, skeletons in the closet – I’d think the agency social workers would check all that out, not the surrogates themselves. A lot of omissions on Peter and Toyah’s application form seem to have slipped past the administrative office.

toyah-hears-surrogate-has-leftSo the surrogate, Jackie, gets to see Peter and Toyah and the fam in their natural habitat. Leanne snarling, Ken preaching, Tracy snapping, Steve being – well – Steve. That makes it a lot more fun for us to watch, but I would stay away from that agency on either side of their service provision.toyah-runs-after-jackie

Jackie decides to be their surrogate after all. Maybe, after hearing just a fraction of the tangled hedgerow that is the Barlow-Battersby family tree, she figures a kid born by surrogacy will feel that he or she has the most normal and boring ancestry of them all.

Newton & Ridley too maybe should review their vetting process. If only the licensee’s suitability is significant, then only Toyah’s background should matter. If the licensee’s partner and/or family is brewery-reps-aghastconsidered to be part of the pub management, which is reasonable, then Peter’s history should not be a surprise to the brewery at this late date. And if the rep at the launch just isn’t in the brewery information loop, then alcoholism, baby daddies or anything else is not any of his business.

Corrie Street July 14/13

Creepy People

Brilliant scenes this week with Roy’s sleepwalking OCD, Emily’s creepy people Windass-Armstrongs in Roversconvalescence and Norris’ fears for his future and especially a Gift of the Magi moment with Tina and Izzy (he’s your baby; no, he’s yours).  But it was the Windass-Armstrong clan that did it for me again. Oh please, God of Corrie, make those creepy people stop!

owen-anna-roversizzy-gary-roversMy husband observed: “I think glad Windasses are worse than mad Windasses”. In the pub, while Tina was trying to work and maintain composure, they fawned over her. Or, in their attempt to give her some space, had happy family discussions about the baby – all within earshot of her. I cringed on Tina’s behalf.

What a horrible strain to try to keep it together while they are wittering tina-tommy-roverson, either directly to her or amongst themselves. I believe that she had no right to keep the baby or put them through the nightmare that she did. However, at that moment I wished she would say to them, ‘listen up – back away now or I take the baby back.’

Space needed

I know she signed the papers and can’t do that – but. Can’t they see that the best way to thank her is to shut up about the whole thing around her? Maybe even give her some space that is free of them? Even jake-is-doing-really-wellIzzy, who has much more sensitivity toward people’s feelings than the others do, can’t shut up. If she isn’t looking doe-eyed at Tina, thanking and thanking and thanking, she’s telling Tina about the baby. Or apologizing for her father. All Owen did was attempt to right a wrong by offering her back the flat. Awkward, yes, but at least he didn’t mention the blessed baby while doing it!

On Friday, Gary and Izzy once again come into the Rovers while Tina is working. He have-a-drink-with-usapologizes to her and Tommy for the night before when he had been insistent they join the clan for drinks. He was drunk, he says. Not a crime in a bar, Tina says.  Being drunk may excuse his aggressive conviviality. But it can’t excuse all the other times he and the rest of them have been getting in Tina’s face.

It’s going to be very hard for Tina when they bring the baby home. Then she will not be able to avoid seeing him and them with him. time-we-all-moved-onSo can’t they give her a bit of a break now, while he’s still in hospital and let her go through her separation and grieving time without constant reminders? I avoid spoilers so I don’t know if Tina is staying or leaving. However, if I were her, I’d have my bags packed and be out of Weatherfield so fast that even racing Windasses wouldn’t be able to catch up with me.

Corrie Street July 7/13

Solomon Redux

King Solomon C14th-Psalter-St.-John's-Cambridge-joh.cam.ac.uk_library_special_collections_manuscripts_medieval_manuscripts_medman_A_K26_K26f10v.htmIn Peter and Leanne’s fight over Simon, I thought of the Judgment of Solomon in determining which of two claimants to a baby was the real mother. On Friday the tale, with Izzy, went to the conclusion: one woman deciding to give up the baby to keep him safe. Had Izzy spoken in Solomon’s court instead of to Gary in the pub patio, I think she would be given the baby Jake/Joe.

I doubt that she will stick with what she said, that the baby should stay with the person with whom he was bonding. Gary would not accept it and neither would Owen and Anna. But she showed she is putting the baby first. She, I think, is the only one doing so.

unspoiltThe turning point for her was Tina saying that the baby was responding to her voice and touch. The solicitor’s letter, saying there would be a hearing in a few months, confirmed her feeling.  A legal battle could take a year or more. Izzy realized that by then, if they won, they take the baby from the only person he knew as his mother. Regardless of biology, she and Gary would be strangers to him. In a moment of clarity, she sees that is unfair to the child.

Baby’s needs or Tina’s needs?

baby photoEarlier, Tina moaned to Tommy that she felt pulled apart by what the baby wanted and what Gary and Izzy wanted. Codswallop! It’s the baby who is being pulled apart by what she wants. He is in an incubator tended by shifts of nurses. At this point, he soon will grow accustomed to new arms holding him.

Tina’s concern for his needs is a smokescreen hiding her own. Maybe that’s subconscious but it needs to will-be-our-faultbe brought to light quickly for the baby’s sake. Maybe also subconsciously, she knows it’s wrong. She called the baby “Jake” after fiercely telling everyone “his name is Joe”. A slip in line delivery or a Freudian slip?

Tina’s enablers

Tina is being enabled in her selfishness by Tommy and, surprisingly, Rita. They know what she is doing is wrong. They had the chance to say so when Tina asked point-blank what they thought. Rita let-Tina-keep-himequivocated, saying she had feared this would happen from the beginning of the mad scheme but now she would support Tina wholeheartedly. Tina then asked Tommy. What could he say but “ditto”? Interesting no one asked Dennis’ opinion. I think he would have told Tina that she has to honour the deal she made no matter how difficult and that delay will only cause stress for the baby.

Rita later tells Tommy that he has to tell Tina that she should not keep the baby. What a Gary-disbelievingdifficult spot for Tommy! And he cannot successfully do it. Rita stands the best chance of getting through to Tina. Her relationship with Tina is of a different order than Tommy’s and there is a remote chance that her opinion might be listened to. By kicking the ball to Tommy, Rita has let Tina and Tommy and the baby down badly.

So in this murky melodrama of maternal izzy-final-frameattachment that feels, unfortunately, all too real, Izzy is the only person truly thinking of the baby’s best interests. The choice she is thinking of is probably not the best for anyone involved. But it does come from an unselfish, pure love of the child.

Corrie Street June 23/13

What happens with Rita

Rita-and-Tina-in-hall what happens with rita“What happens with Rita stays with Rita” is what Tina wanted to hear.  Tina needed to hear what she’d said moments earlier when they talked beside baby Jake’s incubator. The baby is not yours to keep, Rita told Tina. It’s quite natural that she would have a strong attachment to the infant she carried, but he is Izzy and Gary’s baby. End of.

take-your-word-for-thatRita is the only person who could say these things to Tina without ticking her off. Even so, Tina managed to hurt Rita by reminding her, perhaps inadvertently, that she could not know how it feels to give birth to a child. Rita rallied and let Tina know that she supported her but that she needed to get over her feelings and remember that she was a temporary mother for the child of what-you-saidother people.

This was a powerful and nuanced scene between two women who are friends and, themselves, kind of a mother-daughter surrogacy. Tina’s confusion and defensiveness was obvious, as was Rita’s deep affection and her trepidation about raising a difficult topic.

Emotional cavalry

Tommy was glad to see the cavalry arrive. A bit earlier he had said the same thing to just-in-timeTina but she was not taking it from him. In order to show his love and support for Tina, he had go along with her idea of keeping the baby. He cannot find the right balance between support and uncomfortable truths in addressing Tina’s wishes and intentions.

Even if he did, he is her boyfriend and is of the same age. It’s a different relationship dynamic than with Rita. Tina will listen to her, a woman and older, with more deference than she would to anyone, male or female, of her own age. The two scenes nicely counterpointed each other.

Owen-entersJust when maybe Rita was getting somewhere with Tina, in walks Owen. My husband said the Armstrongs and Windasses are like blackflies in a Canadian summer – everywhere, all the time. You can’t get away from them.

Acting brilliance

All the actors in this story have been brilliant and Tina especially so. Her facial and body language alone convey the torment she is feeling. There have been inconsistencies in what she has said, as there likely would be in such a situation.

She told I-can-see-whyTommy that she realized the extent of her love for the baby when he became ill. Moments later Tina told Rita it had nothing to do with his illness, that she had felt it since he was born. Both statements are true but, of the two, I suspect what she told Rita is truer. With Rita, she can be completely honest. Rita demands honesty from her and returns it even when she knows it isn’t what Tina wants to hear.

Tina-looks-at-babyRita’s initial doubts about the surrogacy are proving justified. Standing in the nursery with Rita, Tina said “I always thought I was the least maternal person in the world.” Therefore, she left unsaid, giving up the baby would not be a problem for her. “Now look at me,” realizing that time and a tiny baby change you. Her words to Tommy showed the price of trying to straighten out that confusion, the pain of “hating yourself for loving your baby.”

Coronation Street May 5/13

Other People’s Kids

Friday, in the café Anna comments to Tina about both of them having “other people’s kids, hope you have better luck than I’ve had.”

owen faye and anna - other people's kidsThe story of the week was Anna and Faye and Tim – and police and social workers. Tim having bought a sofa bed, Faye took that as her cue to have sleepovers at Dad’s. When Anna refused that, Faye escalated it to moving in to Dad’s. After Anna refused that, Faye alleged Anna had hit her. After having been removed from her home during the investigation, it finally dawned on Faye that she was being taken very seriously and maybe this was going to have consequences greater than just her getting her own way with her mother.

faye-giving-statementWaiting at the police station, Izzy, Faye’s temporary guardian, responded beautifully to a difficult situation. Asked by Faye if Anna would go to jail, Izzy said “that depends on you.” Faye retracted her allegations, and all agreed that Faye was a very troubled child. I’ll say! I’d go back to sleeping with one eye open.

Faye got her way in the end, and Anna really had no choice. Faye has moved temporarily to Tim’s sofa bed. We’ll see how that goes. Very real issues affecting adoptive children and parents are being raised in this story. A Guardian article talks about the new minefields presented by social media like Facebook, which of course was how Faye found Tim in the first place.

Tim gives my husband and me the creeps. But then so does Faye, so maybe it’s just a family trait. So as of Thursday, my only dilemma was which gut-wrenching scene to choose.

Other people’s unborn kids

izzy-gary-tinaThen Friday the story moved to another complicated parentage story – Izzy, Gary and Tina. Tina had a prenatal class and Izzy and Gary were going with her. Makes sense they’d go, even though Beth questioned why Izzy was taking time off work for it. After all, she pointed out, it was Tina who had to know about childbirth.

people-moving-for-izzyBeth’s words came to Izzy’s mind, and ours, when they were actually in the class. Pregnant women and partners all sat on the floor and Izzy in her chair. Tina and Gary sat on the floor. Tina, like the other expectant mothers, needed a partner for the exercises and, of course, for the forthcoming big event. Izzy realized she was in the way, so she had to navigate her way across a floor filled with pregnant women-and-their-partners to sit in the back, out of the way, out of sight, out of mind.

Tears came to her eyes as she sat off to the side like a fifth wheel. Beautiful camera work and acting in too-late-to-change-your-mindconveying the emotion. Leaving aside where this story looks to be heading with Gary getting too interested in Tina, this moment was heartbreaking. Izzy, feeling extraneous to her child’s development, watching her partner busy partnering with the woman who is carrying the baby. What, she must be wondering, are the next months going to be like?

izzy-leaving-roomAnna’s comment about other people’s kids was fair enough, but she might find she could also extend her sympathy to Izzy. She too feels like ‘her’ child is not really hers after all.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Dec. 23/12)


got-any-questionsMaybe the whole thing coming out in the Rovers about Tina being a surrogate mother for Izzy and Gary was just a build up to Tina throwing a pint over David in Wednesday’s episode. I hope so because I’m just not understanding what the big deal is.

I have thought they were keeping her pregnancy a secret just because it’s early days. Get past the first trimester and all that. But after Norris blabbed last week in the Rovers and everyone congratulated why-pick-margarineTommy on being a dad, it seemed to me it was time to ‘fess up. Horrible to have everyone thinking it was Tommy and Tina’s baby. Awkward for them and embarrassing for all the well-wishers when the truth came out. But at that time, I thought it’s a hard spot for Tommy, especially when he’s angry and just wants to be left alone. Gary could set people straight, but emotions were running high. Maybe a case of coulda, woulda, shoulda.

But when it all started up again on Tuesday, why not just say listen, folks, let us explain. All the principals were there, so what better time? What were they planning to do, wait until the baby is born then Tina say “oh, I decided to give her/him to Gary and Izzy”?

The reactions

you got something to sayAfter worried looks darting back and forth and attempts to put people off the topic (like that’s going to happen!) finally they realized they had no choice but to tell people. The truth couldn’t be any stranger than what the factory girls and Norris were coming up with on their own. But I was confounded again by the reactions to what they were told.

Tina-is-carryingAre the people of Coronation Street living in a time warp or a cave? You’d think this was the first ever case of surrogacy. No one seemed to have ever heard of such a thing.  It wasn’t just a case of moral disapproval or wondering about the difficulty in handling the emotional bonds of so many parental figures, it was kind of like “Eh?  Wot’s that when it’s at home?”

All about David

renting-my-wombThen David came in, upset about his baby-making plan going awry. Totally fed up with everyone, Tina tells him “I’m renting out my womb” in answer to his question about what’s going on. After he absorbs the news about the surrogacy, the hamsters in his little brain start up their wheel. Quickly he turns it to being all about him. You can hear his thoughts: Tina’s carrying a baby for someone else and Kylie won’t even carry my baby, and Tina aborted my baby. When the abortion is mentioned, barmaid Tina flings a beer in customer David’s face.

pint-over-DavidNot that I didn’t enjoy seeing him getting a pint thrown over him. I think they should incorporate that into every episode. David sitting at home watching tv, someone walks in the door and flings a beer over him. Crossing the street, someone jumps out and pours a beer over his head. Especially with the way he’s acting, I think it would be wonderful. A little message of “grow up David” plus the wherewithal for a new drinking game.