Related Reading

Article: Shifting Surrogacy Laws Give Birth to Uncertainty

Shifting Surrogacy Laws Give Birth to Uncertainty
By Brad Bertrand | Nikkei Asian Review | Dec. 26, 2015


Whether Malaysia passes a ban on surrogacy or not, would-be parents are likely to find ways to arrange births somewhere in Asia as the trade moves on.

After legal crackdowns in Thailand and Nepal, this article follows the regional growth of surrogacy in Malaysia and Cambodia, both of which “lack comprehensive legal frameworks to regulate” the practice. With a focus on Malaysia, the author explores the country’s attempts at legislation, including a draft federal law on assisted reproductive technologies.

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Talk: The Politics of Renting Wombs

What’s Love Got to Do With It? The Politics of Renting Wombs
Michele Goodwin | June 14, 2016

In a talk delivered at the Women Deliver 2016 Global Conference, Michele Goodwin, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, draws on her experience in India to discuss the impact of commercial surrogacy on gestational mothers. Her comments are situated within a broader context – the transnational reach of ARTs, and how these technologies feed on and create global inequity and collide with concepts such as “love” and “sisterhood.”

Goodwin is also the director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy and author of “Baby Markets: Money and The New Politics of Creating Families.”

Article: The Dwindling Options for Surrogacy Abroad

The Dwindling Options for Surrogacy Abroad
By Danielle Preiss and Pragati Shahi | The Atlantic | May 31, 2016

This comprehensive article covers international commercial surrogacy laws around the world, with emphasis on and the implications of recent legal changes in India, Thailand, and Nepal. It follows an Australian couple, forbidden from paying gestational mothers in their own country, on a journey that spans Israel (the location of their agency), India (where their gestational mother lives), and Nepal (where she travels for embryo transfer and the birth) — with helpful insights on the effects of such arrangements on the children that are caught in the middle.

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Article: The Politics of Women’s Eggs

The Politics of Women’s Eggs
By Diane Tober | Undark | June 10, 2016

A curious battle is being waged over women’s bodies in the state of California. It’s not, as one might expect, the ongoing fight over women’s rights to abortion, which I fully support. Rather, the dispute involves a woman’s right to donate her eggs for use in scientific research — and to be compensated for it.

In this essay, Diane Tober, a medical anthropologist, documentary filmmaker, and assistant professor at the University of California’s Institute for Health and Aging, discusses the implications of egg retrieval (for infertility treatment and research) on the health of egg providers, and plots a timeline for pending legislation in California.

She concludes with recommendations to reduce health risks and track long-term safety data. Read the full essay > 

Plus: Learn more about Tober’s documentary “The Perfect Donor.” This film is the culmination of Tober’s conversations with women on, among other things, their health after egg retrieval and their experiences with medical providers during the process. From the film’s website:

The Perfect Donor intends to provide information to all the players in the world of egg donation–the donors, physicians, agents, intended parents, and others–so that those women who do decide to provide eggs to help another person create a family receive the best of care and have their voices heard. By hearing other women’s stories, both good and bad, this film will provide more information to women considering egg donation before deciding to proceed. It will also help fertility practitioners take steps to increase safety and informed consent for egg providers, and educate intended parents on what to look out for when pursuing egg donation to complete their families.

Article: Nepal Bans Surrogacy, Leaving Couples with Few Low Cost Options

Nepal Bans Surrogacy, Leaving Couples with Few Low Cost Options
By Rachel Abrams | The New York Times | May 2, 2016

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-10-04-30-amCovering international commercial surrogacy after its ban in Nepal, this article provides an overview of regulation related to the practice in many countries. It follows a couple from Israel expecting twins by a gestational mother in Nepal. When one child does not survive, the couple is unsure where to turn, with no remaining embryos, because of the patchwork of laws around the world.

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Film: The Guys Next Door

The Guys Next Door
Directors: Allie Humenuk and Amy Geller | A Squared Films | 2016

THE GUYS NEXT DOOR (Trailer) from Allie Humenuk on Vimeo.


Humenuk and Geller spent over three years filming this intimate portrait of a gay couple with two daughters birthed by their close friend. THE GUYS NEXT DOOR explores the struggles and possibilities that creating family brings. It is a timely film that both embraces and transcends gay rights and gay families. In the words of esteemed documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee (Sherman’s March), “with nuance, verve and humor, this film explores the humanity that connects us all.”

Visit the film’s website >