Book: Babies for Sale? Transnational Surrogacy, Human Rights and the Politics of Reproduction

Babies for Sale? Transnational Surrogacy, Human Rights and the Politics of Reproduction
Edited by Miranda Davies | Zed Books | March 2017

From the publisher’s website:

Featuring contributions from over thirty activists and scholars from a range of countries and disciplines, this collection offers the first genuinely international study of transnational surrogacy. Its innovative bottom-up approach, rooted in feminist perspectives, gives due prominence to the voices of those most affected by the global surrogacy chain, namely the surrogate mothers, donors, prospective parents and the children themselves. Through case studies ranging from Israel to Mexico, the book outlines the forces that are driving the growth of transnational surrogacy, as well as its implications for feminism, human rights, motherhood and masculinity.

Our Bodies Ourselves is a contributor to the book, along with an impressive line up of our allies in the field. (Read the table of contents.)

In a chapter titled “Frequently Unasked Questions: Understanding and Responding to Gaps in Public Knowledge of International Surrogacy Practices Worldwide,” we evaluate the quality of the information available to people considering international surrogacy arrangements, most of which is developed by entities that facilitate and benefit from the practice. We also introduce the book’s readers to Surrogacy360, this online clearinghouse on international commercial surrogacy.

Read more details and buy the book >

Article: What to Think About When Considering Donating Your Eggs

What to Think About When Considering Donating Your Eggs
By Diane Tober | Rewire | March 16, 2017

Egg donation can bring joy to other people, but it is not a process to enter into lightly. There are children being created that one day may want to know you. Your perspective may change over time. And it is a medical procedure that includes putting large dosages of hormones into your body that may affect your health or future fertility.

Diane Tober’s article on egg retrieval is worth every minute, especially if you or someone you know is contemplating becoming an egg provider. It describes the nuts and bolts of preparing for the process (picking agencies versus clinics and negotiating contracts and care); the process (with suggestions to improve health outcomes), and the related risks.

The piece draws on Tober’s extensive expertise on the issue and her ongoing research on the decisions and experiences of egg providers, many of which are featured.

Read the full article >

Article: In Japan, First Woman Gives Birth Using Egg From Anonymous Donor

In Japan, First Woman Gives Birth Using Egg From Anonymous Donor
By Mizuho Aoki | Japan Times | March 22, 2017

In a first for Japan, this article discusses the birth of a baby with the help of an anonymous donor’s egg and raises question about the status of the birth mother.

A 2007 ruling by the Japanese Supreme Court grants legal status to the woman who gives birth, but there is no precedent or specification in the civil code for when a child is born as a result of donated eggs. A draft bill granting legal status to the birth mother in third-party reproduction could be in the pipeline.

Read the full article >

Article: The Practical Case for Legalizing Surrogacy

The Practical Case for Legalizing Surrogacy
By Ding Chunyan | Sixth Tone | March 22, 2017

I propose that we legalize altruistic gestational surrogacy — that is, procedures involving a third-party surrogate mother with no biological relation to the child, and who receives no financial compensation for taking on the role. To protect the interests of the surrogate mother, the intended parents, and the surrogate child, the government should establish clear rules specifying the qualifications for both the surrogate mother and intended parents, as well as the conditions for surrogacy, the restrictions on reimbursement, the privacy of those involved, and the child’s right to know of that it was born from the arrangement.

Citing laws that are, in the author’s opinion, “simply not up to the task of solving the current complex tangle of legal and regulatory problems related to surrogacy,” this article chronicles some key issues facing surrogacy in China today. It includes: the rampant use of non-ARTs – not covered by regulation – in surrogacy arrangements; judicial bias towards genetic parentage; precedents set by divorce cases that have not always granted custody to the more capable parent; and the rise of entities and a “black market” willing to violate law.

Legalizing altruistic surrogacy is the proposed fix by Ding Chunyan, an associate professor at the Law School of Hong Kong City University, along with the creation of a neutral oversight body. Success, however, is pinned on her proposal to ban commercial surrogacy.

Read the full article >

Article: Why You Should Know About IVF’s Potentially Fatal Side Effects

Why You Should Know About IVF’s Potentially Fatal Side Effects
By Ila Ananya | The Wire | March 21, 2017

This article follows the story of Arathi Krishnan Chhetri, a 34-year-old woman who sought help from a well-known IVF clinic in the Indian state of Bangalore. It provides painstaking details on her interaction with clinic providers, highlighting the lack of transparency and inept or lackadaisical care that have come to define fertility treatment in many situations. Through Chhetri’s experience with Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, which landed her in the Intensive Care Unit, the author guides readers through possible symptoms and cautions on current practices in IVF.

Read the full article >

Article: Women Fear Drug They Used to Halt Puberty Led to Health Problems

Women Fear Drug They Used to Halt Puberty Led to Health Problems
By Christine Jewett | Kaiser Health News | Feb. 2, 2017

Lupron is most often linked to egg retrieval. (See Egg Providers and Diane Tober’s piece on Rewire, which provides an overview of the egg retrieval process for people considering becoming egg providers.)

Few people are aware of the drug’s use to treat central precocious puberty (PP) or growth issues in young children. Kaiser Health News and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting track the effects of Lupron on adults exposed to the drug as children. The article follows Sharissa Derricott, now 30 years and living in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, and others who have suffered a laundry list of physical and emotional problems as a result.

Read the full article > 

In a related piece by Lynne Millican, people are invited to share their own experiences with Lupron. Learn more about Lynne’s personal journey on Impact Ethics and visit her website.