A guest post by Coronation Street Blog reader Hannah Warder (@HannahWarder)
Tina: As the surrogate for the baby, Tina spent a number of months experiencing all of the highs and lows of pregnancy, something that clearly affected her emotionally. When the baby was actually born, she soon realised how much she wanted to be his mother. She is so wrapped up in her love for the baby that she cannot part with it, despite knowing that it isn’t genetically hers.
Gary: As the biologically father to the baby boy, Gary wants to have him signed over to him and Izzy as soon as possible. When Tina said she was going to keep the baby, Gary was angry and upset. He believes that Tina isn’t thinking straight and is being purposely vindictive; she won’t let them see the baby, she has renamed the baby, and she plans on raising it (with the help of Tommy).
Izzy: Poor old Izzy felt left out during the pregnancy as she wasn’t able to contribute fully during the antenatal classes due to her disability. She felt as though Gary was enjoying the experience more than she was (and perhaps she was right as Gary did indeed try it on with Tina during a moment of madness) so she was very happy when the baby was born, even though he was premature. It was already emotional for Izzy, and that was before Tina decided that she was going to keep the baby.
What is the ethical resolution?
The story is a complicated one, but most people would agree that the baby belongs to Gary and Izzy. People may say that the situation was flawed in the first place due to paying Tina to be the surrogate, but once a life had been created with the genes of both Gary and Izzy, the baby is biologically theirs.
Tina was due to sign off parental responsibility to the couple in the hospital, but since refusing to do this, she has been quite public with her decision. People now know she has changed the baby’s name from “Jake” to “Joe”, and has banned Gary and Izzy from visiting the baby in the hospital. The situation could get even more complicated if Tina ends up bringing the baby home to the street where his biological mum and dad could see him each and every day, but not get the chance to engage and interact with him.
I think that the best resolution from an ethical point of view would be for people to speak to Tina about the situation, whilst taking into account the emotional attachment she must feel. It may be difficult for her to let Jake go, but she would be able to access healthcare services for therapy or counselling.
What is the legal resolution?
I’ve been reading about family law on some other blogs and websites too. The section about family law on Ramsdens’ website (1) shows that there are many types of issues that can arise when the custody of children is in question, and it seems that specialist solicitors are important for getting a resolution. Tina knows that her legal battle could be expensive, which is why she is keeping the money that Owen (Izzy’s dad) gave to her for being the surrogate. Although it has just come to light that Rita would like to pay the legal fees instead so we’ll have to see what comes of this.
Another blogger (2) has said: “There is supposed to be a court hearing now. Whether we’ll get that far is another question. Will Tina give in? Will the judge say, “Sorry, the law is clear. She can keep the baby’.” This remains to be seen, but it would be interesting to see how true to life the story would be if this did happen. However, I think most parties would prefer a resolution out of court.
Coronation Street returns on Friday when Tina wonders if she's made the right decision in keeping baby Joe as she struggles to breastfeed him (3)... tune in to see what happens! What do you think the best resolution would be?
Thank you to the following websites who made this blog post possible.
1) Family Mediation solicitors on Ramsdens.co.uk
2) The Moral Choice blog post
3) Coronation Street Episode Guide on TVguide.co.uk.
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