From TV shows to books, how GPA is becoming commonplace in public opinion



This is the story of Céline and her husband Mathieu, who cannot have children (Céline was born without a uterus). Seeing that their adoption file has been slipping for five years, the farming couple embarks on a gestational surrogacy (GPA) in Canada. This is the starting point of the TV movie broadcast this Wednesday evening, on France 2, and freely adapted from the book What’s wrong with my family?, by Marc-Olivier Fogiel. In 2018, the former host, now director of BFMTV, told about his journey there as well as that of other couples – including Céline and Mathieu – to become parents via a GPA.

A trivialization maintained by the media space

Surrogacy remains prohibited in France. In fact, for ten years, “the practice is subject to a form of trivialization”observes Céline Revel Dumas, journalist and author of GPA, the big bluff. In an Ifop poll released on February 7, 71% of French people are in favor of its authorization for heterosexual couples, 57% for homosexual couples.

→ ANALYSIS. With “What’s wrong with my family? », France 2 is committed to surrogacy

Figures on the rise since 2014. For Céline Revel Dumas, if this tolerance has gradually spread, it is, in particular, “through series, films and the multiplication of reports and testimonies”, carried by anonymous people as well as by media personalities: Marc-Olivier Fogiel, therefore, as well as his colleague from TF1 and LCI Christophe Beaugrand, whose book Daddy’s boy(s) (1) sold 18,000 copies. The beginning of success, in publishing.

“The media world is a small worlddeciphers Céline Revel Dumas, to explain this progressive acceptability. Christophe Beaugrand, Marc-Olivier Fogiel have weight and friends there. It is logical that their speech finds a space of expression there. » For his book, Christophe Beaugrand was invited to Day-to-day (more than one million viewers on average), on France 5, on France Inter. In anticipation of the broadcast of the TV movie, Marc-Olivier Fogiel appears, him, with his family, on two double pages in Paris Matchthis week.

The victory of emotion

“The more you name a practice, the more it is embodied through experiences and the more you normalize it”, analyzes Céline Revel Dumas. The identification and empathy that are created leadso what she calls “moral relativism”. The stories told are beautiful, human and highlight the family. Since then, “How important are great principles like the non-exploitation of a woman’s body? » notes Sandra Travers de Faultrier, member of CoRp, a feminist collective opposed to surrogacy. The displayed happiness outweighs the questions. »

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Marc-Olivier Fogiel does not hide it. He wants to demonize the subject by making it concrete, without embellishing it. The method sucks. “The most important thing is love”writes a user on Facebook, commenting on a photo showing the journalist with his family. “I hope that in France, thanks to your book, we will not wait another twenty years for surrogacy”hopes another, addressing Christophe Beaugrand.

An impact that pleases Alexandre Urwicz, of the Association of homoparental families (ADFH). “Testimonials on these subjects are essential to the understanding, by the general public, of an approach whose ignorance can generate fears” he declares. He reiterates that in his view there are two forms of surrogacy. One, purely commercial, as practiced in Ukraine, and the other, more “altruistic”, respecting surrogate mothers and ensuring that their motivations are not only financial. “We hope that such testimonies contribute to the emergence of a debate in France on the legalization of ethical surrogacy”, he insists. In November 2021, the Élysée maintained that the subject remained a ” Red line “. At least for now.

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