The creators of Surrogacy360, Our Bodies Ourselves and Center for Genetics and Society, work with a number of organizations, researchers, and advocates to address the ethical and medical questions raised by international commercial surrogacy. Our colleagues include:
ART Working Group – Global
The ART Working Group, facilitated by the Center for Genetics & Society and the Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research, tracks advances and critical issues in assisted reproductive technologies.
Its 80 members (including Our Bodies Ourselves) include reproductive rights/justice alliances, as well as individual academics and researchers. Eight countries outside the United States are represented.
Members regularly share their research, experiences, and expertise. This educational component helps keep the group informed on new medical and scientific developments, along with associated health, legal, and human rights concerns that intersect with assisted reproductive technologies.
The ART Working Group grew out of a series of Tarrytown Meetings that were convened by the Center for Genetic and Society from 2010 to 2012.
Sama Resource Group for Women and Health – India
Sama is a Delhi-based organization working on issues of women’s health and human rights. A key focus is assisted reproductive technologies and international commercial surrogacy.
Sama documents and makes visible the experiences of gestational mothers and the risks they face in international commercial surrogacy arrangements. The organization examines issues within the framework of gender, class, caste, religion, ethnicity, and other power dynamics within South Asian society and between South Asia and other countries/regions.
Reproductive tourism in India has relied on advanced, relatively inexpensive medical technology and a ready pool of gestational mothers. Sama’s resources — including an acclaimed film “Can We See the Baby Bump Please?” — address the ethical challenges, medical risks, and potential for exploitation of gestational mothers in a legal vacuum.
Samples of Sama’s tools and engagement with media are available on Surrogacy360. Visit Sama’s website to learn more about its work with policy makers, the media, women and girls in the community, and allies on the ground.
Women’s Rehabilitation Center – Nepal
The Women’s Rehabilitation Center (the Center) works to reduce gender-based violence. It provides a hotline for abused women; safe houses with counseling and legal support for survivors; safe-migration information booths across the country; and health counseling centers run by “barefoot gynecologists” — women who have used self-examination and self-help methods to learn about their bodies and are training others in the same skills.
The Center has collaborated with Our Bodies Ourselves on a series of booklets that were adapted from the “Our Bodies, Ourselves” book and translated into Nepali. In 2012, Our Bodies Ourselves joined with Sama and the Center to organize a workshop for a countrywide network of women’s human rights defenders and sexual/reproductive health advocates. The goal, given Nepal’s separation from India by a fairly porous border, was to understand the reach and impact of international surrogacy and organize a proactive response.
In 2013, the Center completed a situational analysis in some border areas and created an outreach plan that includes a series of 36 radio shows called “My Body, My Rights” — a smart move in a country where the majority relies on radio for information and news, especially in rural areas where more than 80 percent of the population lives.
Each show features a conversation with physicians (who rarely speak about assisted reproduction publicly), women’s rights activists, women’s human rights defenders, and feminist leaders. The series has encouraged leading newspapers and other media outlets in Nepal to pay attention to the issue.
Infertility Family Research Registry – United States
The Infertility Family Research Registry (IFRR) based at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is a voluntary research project that collects information from infertile couples and children, as well as from egg donors and gestational mothers. It seeks to understand the long-term implications of assisted reproductive technologies and related practices, including egg retrieval.
Our Bodies Ourselves is working with the IFRR to increase awareness about the Registry among fertility clinics, and is also reaching out to egg providers to encourage them to participate in the Registry by sharing their experiences and health outcomes after the retrieval process.
Please check back for updates on ongoing and new collaborations.