Hideously Rich? Rent a Womb!

New York Times writer's chronicle of surrogate motherhood appalls Thomas Frank
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2008 11:04 AM CST
Cover of the New York Times Magazine featuring surrogate motherhood.

(Newser) – In a credit-crunched world, the excesses of the rich no longer seem so cute. But apparently no one mentioned this to ex-New York Times columnist Alex Kuczynski who, after years of writing about billionaires, married one and joined the club. Thomas Frank revisits her recent chronicle of the trials of hiring a surrogate mom in his Wall Street Journal column, finding it stunningly tone deaf as she treats "biological functions up for sale like so many Jimmy Choos."

Though the infertility that lead to hiring a surrogate is no joke, Kuczynski shares her guilty pleasure in spending the final months of the pregnancy not with a swelling waistline and ankles, but white-water rafting, swilling bourbon, and attending the Super Bowl—apparently unaware that "all this reproduction-for-hire was a product of her billionaire-centric world as surely as the Versace she used to trill about." The woman actually carrying the baby is barely mentioned—she gets three quotes in 8,000 words—as Kuczynski treats her as "a vessel, the carrier, the biological babysitter."