Surrogacy360 is a collaboration between Our Bodies Ourselves and the Center for Genetics and Society. Both groups focus on expanding public awareness and action on health and human rights in the United States and around the world.
Surrogacy360 builds on our longstanding partnership on issues related to assisted reproduction, including the International Forum on Intercountry Adoption and Global Surrogacy, convened at The Hague in 2014. The Center, with assistance from Our Bodies Ourselves, planned a surrogacy track at the Forum and developed a report documenting discussions and outcomes. Elements of this report have been used by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly to frame recommendations on international surrogacy.
More information about each organization is available below. Read our press release for more on the need for and development of Surrogacy360.
Our Bodies Ourselves (OBOS) is a nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts that develops and promotes evidence-based information on girls’ and women’s reproductive health and sexuality.
OBOS also addresses the social, economic, and political conditions that affect health care access and quality of care. This contextual information has inspired readers to learn more about and to change laws and policies that affect their own and their family’s well-being.
More than 500,000 people each month visit OBOS’s website. OBOS is also active on Facebook and Twitter. The organization’s signature publication, “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” was one of 88 books included in the Library of Congress exhibit “Books That Shaped America.”
The OBOS Global Initiative works with women’s organizations around the world that have translated and adapted “Our Bodies, Ourselves” to their country’s unique cultural needs. Many of these groups are addressing assisted reproductive technologies via their own work and in collaboration with OBOS (visit Global Collaborations for more information).
Surrogacy360 is one example of the Global Initiative’s work toward greater transparency and awareness concerning international commercial surrogacy. Other examples include:
- Participation at the planning level for the Tarrytown Meetings convened by the Center for Genetics and Society to strategize around the responsible use of biotechnologies.
- Support for the Infertility Family Research Registry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center to increase participation by fertility clinics and egg providers in order to gather long-term safety data on egg retrieval.
- Collaboration with students and colleagues at the University of California, Davis, School of Law on a counter advertisement to misleading fertility clinic ads for egg providers. This advertisement was published in the student newspaper, The Miami Hurricane, in April 2016.
OBOS’s past and current funders on assisted reproduction and international commercial surrogacy include the Appleton Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Foundation for A Just Society.
The Center for Genetics and Society (CGS) is a public-interest organization based in California working to reclaim human biotechnologies for the common good.
CGS brings a social justice, human rights, and public interest perspective to human genetic and assisted reproductive technologies and practices, supporting those that are beneficial and opposing those that threaten to increase inequality, discrimination, and conflict.
CGS provides a range of digital resources that track and analyze developments on issues related to the social meaning of human biotechnologies including: a robust website and active presence on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube; Biopolitical Times, a longstanding blog with staff and guest contributors; and Talking Biopolitics, a series of conversations with leading thinkers, ethicists, and researchers.
Key CGS activities on the rights and safety of parties to fertility treatments that involve commercial surrogacy or egg retrieval include:
- Implementation of a CGS Fellows Program to gather data on the experiences of people undergoing fertility treatment. The program currently includes three scholars investigating the health risks and fertility clinic policies surrounding egg retrieval, and the health impacts and marketing of surrogacy services.
- Convening the Tarrytown Meetings (2010-2012), bringing together more than 200 advocates, scholars, policy experts, creative artists, and others working to ensure that human biotechnologies support the common good. Discussion topics at the meetings included sex selection, trait selection, commercial surrogacy, use of women’s eggs for fertility and research, and gamete donor anonymity. An ART Working Group grew out of these meetings and continues to brief CGS colleagues.
CGS’s past and current funders on assisted reproduction and international commercial surrogacy include the Appleton Foundation, Lyman B. Brainerd Jr. Family Foundation, Heimbinder Family Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Marisla Foundation, and Winiarski Family Foundation.