Book: Globalization and Transnational Surrogacy in India

Globalization and Transnational Surrogacy in India: Outsourcing Life
By Sayantani Dasgupta and Shamita Das Dasgupta | Lanham: Lexington Books | 2014
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From the book description:

From computer support and hotel reservations to laboratory results and radiographic interpretations, it seems everything can be ‘outsourced’ in our globalized world. One would not think so with parenthood, however, especially motherhood, as it is a fundamental activity humans have historically preserved as personal and private. In our modern age, however, the advent and accessibility of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) and the ease with which they have traversed global borders, has fundamentally altered the meaning of childbearing and parenting.

In the twenty-first century, parenthood is no longer achieved only through gestation, adoption, or traditional surrogacy, but also via assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), where science and technology play lead roles. Furthermore, in a globalized world economy, where the movement and transfer of people and commodities are increasing to serve the interests of capitalism, gamete donation and surrogate birth can traverse innumerable geographic, socio-economic, racialized, and political borderlands. Thus, reproduction itself can be outsourced.

This edited volume explores one specific aspect of the new assisted reproductive technologies: gestational surrogacy and how its practice is changing the traditional concept of parenthood across the globe. The phenomenon of transnational surrogacy has given rise to a thriving international industry where money is being ‘legally’ exchanged for babies and ‘reproductive labor’ has taken on a lucrative commercial tone. Yet, law, research, and activism are barely aware of this experience and are still playing catch-up with rapidly changing on-the-ground realities. This interdisciplinary collection of essays assuages the dearth of knowledge and addresses significant issues in transnational commercial gestational surrogacy as it takes shape in a peculiar relation between the West (primarily the United States) and India.

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Book: Cracked Open: Liberty, Fertility and the Pursuit of High-Tech Babies

Cracked Open: Liberty, Fertility and the Pursuit of High-Tech Babies
By Miriam Zoll | Interlink Publishing Group | 2013
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Foreword by Judy Norsigian, co-founder and former executive director, Our Bodies Ourselves, and Michele Goodwin, director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy

Cracked Open by Miriam ZollFrom the book description:

Cracked Open is Miriam Zoll’s eye-opening account of growing into womanhood with the simultaneous opportunities offered by the women’s movement and new discoveries in reproductive technologies. Influenced by pervasive media and cultural messages suggesting that science had finally eclipsed Mother Nature, Zoll –– like millions of women –– delays motherhood until the age of 40.

When things don’t progress as she had hoped, she and her husband enter a science-fiction world of medical seduction, capitalist conception and bioethical quagmires. Desperate to conceive, they turn to unproven treatments and procedures only to learn that the odds of becoming parents through reproductive medicine are far less than they and their generation had been led to believe.

Visit Miriam Zoll’s website to learn more >

Watch Miriam Zoll talk about her experience with infertility, IVF, and the search for an egg provider in an excerpt from The Cycle Forum.

Book: Family-Making: Contemporary Ethical Challenges

Family-Making: Contemporary Ethical Challenges
By Francoise Baylis and Carolyn McLeod | Oxford University Press | 2014
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This book discusses the ethics of making families with children via adoption or assisted reproductive technologies.

Excerpt from a review by Vida Panitch, Associate Professor at Carleton University:

Cover for Family-Making The editors set out to canvas the moral terrain of nontraditional family making, or family making through adoption and/or assisted reproductive technology (ART). And they have brought together papers that shed important light on the various contemporary ethical challenges that couples and individuals face depending on the manner in which they choose to welcome children into their lives. Of equal interest to Baylis and McLeod are questions regarding the duties of parents as well the duties of the state with respect to families formed via ART and adoption. Discussions as to the unique values and duties associated with families forged by these means are counterbalanced with papers on the permissibility (or necessity) of regulative state policies on everything from parental licensing, to anonymous gamete donation, to contract pregnancy.

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For more by Françoise Baylis, read:

Book: Discounted Life – The Price of Global Surrogacy in India

Discounted Life – The Price of Global Surrogacy in India
By Sharmila Rudrappa | NYU Press | December 2015

Sharmila Rudrappa is a distinguished scholar in the field and her book, Discounted Life, is the winner, American Sociological Association Asia and Asian America Section Best Book on Asia/Transnational Asia.

From the publisher’s website:

Sharmila Rudrappa interrogates the creation and maintenance of reproductive labor markets, the function of agencies and surrogacy brokers, and how women become surrogate mothers. Is surrogacy solely a labor contract for which the surrogate mother receives wages, or do its meanings and import exceed the confines of the market? Rudrappa argues that this reproductive industry is organized to control and disempower women workers and yet her interviews reveal that, by and large, the surrogate mothers in Bangalore found the experience life affirming. Rudrappa explores this tension, and the lived realities of many surrogate mothers whose deepening bodily commodification is paradoxically experienced as a revitalizing life development.
A detailed and moving study, Discounted Life delineates how local labor markets intertwine with global reproduction industries, how Bangalore’s surrogate mothers make sense of their participation in reproductive assembly lines, and the remarkable ways in which they negotiate positions of power for themselves in progressively untenable socio-economic conditions.