Human Factory Farming and the Campaign to Outlaw Surrogacy
by Mirah Riben | Dissident Voice | May 30, 2015
Here’s an excerpt:
The despair of wanting a child you are unable to produce naturally has led to a multi-billion dollar Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) industry offering a plethora of reproductive choices resulting in tens of thousands of births a year in the U.S. It has also led to controversy and a campaign to ban it.
Michele Goodwin, director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy, holds the Chancellor’s Chair at the University of California, Irvine with appointments at the School of Law, School of Public Health, and Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies:
These technologies provide a stunning candy store of options: a spectrum so vast in array, scope, and breadth as to make heads spin: in vitro fertilization, ova selling, cryopreservation of ova, womb renting [surrogacy], pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, embryo transfer, assisted hatching, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) of ova, embryo grading, and more.
Producing children with the assistance of anonymous third parties, while increasingly popular and accepted for anyone who can afford it, remains controversial. Despite compassion for the unmet longing to be a parent, there is no right to a child for anyone — heterosexual, homosexual, or singles by choice.
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Nigeria’s Baby Farmers
By Anas Aremeyaw Anas and Rosemary Nwaebuni | Al Jazeera | Dec. 3, 2015
This episode of “Africa Investigates” explores a three-fold problem: pregnant women voluntarily or being forced to give up their children for adoption; young girls confined and forced to produce children that are sold to childless couples trying to avoid the stigma of infertility and adoption in Nigeria; and the role of “miracle” doctors in the country’s rapidly growing demand for children and “baby farms.”
While it does not discuss surrogacy, the implications of what it does talk about, on international adoption and commercial surrogacy, is clear and cautionary.
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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.