1.1 Notion “mother” as a biological and socio-cultural phenomenon
A mother is the female parent of a child. She is a woman who inhabits or performs the role of bearing some relation to her child, who may or may not be her biological offspring. Woman can be considered a mother by virtue of having given birth, by raising her child(ren), supplying their ovum for fertilisation, or may combine all these three possibilities. Such description leads to the conclusion that there are “different types of mothers: biological mother, non-biological mother, and surrogate mother” [3, p. 236].
Biological Mother: biological motherhood for humans which is the common type occurs when a pregnant female gestates a fertilized ovum (the “egg”). Then, “gestation occurs in the woman’s uterus until the fetus is sufficiently developed to be born after around nine months” [40, p. 3]. Once the baby is born, the mother produces milk via the lactation process which is the sole source of nutrition for the first year or more of the child’s life.
Non-biological Mother: mother can often apply to a woman other than the biological parent, especially if she fulfills the main social role in raising the child. This type is represented by either an adoptive mother or a stepmother (the biologically unrelated partner of a child’s father). Sometimes, the term “other mother” [40, p. 4] is also used to describe the women who provides care for a child not biologically her own.
Surrogate mother: a surrogate mother is a woman who bears a child that came from another woman’s fertilized ovum on behalf of a couple unable to give birth to children. Thus the surrogate mother carries and gives birth to a child that “she is not the biological mother of” [40, p. 4].
Despite the various types, mother remains an entity of spiritual being that carries all meanings of goodness. Such description soon comes to mind when one thinks of Mother Mary whose virginity was a garden always locked. Within her virginity paradoxically was fertility and life. She is the fountain of pure spirituality. The mother Mary occupies the center of writing by many authors regardless of their cultural or theological norms.
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