Outsourcing the Womb
Race, Class and Gestational Surrogacy in a Global Market
Routledge – 2011 – 78 pages
A quiet revolution has been taking place during the past three decades. The way that children enter families has changed radically among upper middle class families. In the 1980s infertility increasing became defined as a medical problem that could be solved with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) rather than through adoption. Asexual or ‘assisted conception’ involving medical technologies such as in vitro fertilization and embryo transfers began to replace sexual reproduction for infertile couples. Third parties, referred to as surrogates are hired to assist individuals and/or couples who wish to conceive and child with whom they share a genetic tie. This has resulted in a ‘surrogate baby boom.’
Outsourcing the Womb provides a critical introduction to the global surrogacy market. A comparative analysis of the assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy industry in Egypt, Israel, India and the United States disentangles the intersecting roles of race, religion, class inequality, religious law, and global capitalism. Gestational surrogacy challenges the idea of ‘natural’ reproduction and of the meaning of parenthood. What role should the state play in providing individuals and families with access to reproductive technologies? This book concludes with a discussion of ‘reproductive justice’.
The goal of this new, unique series is to offer readable, teachable "thinking frames" on today’s social problems and social issues by leading scholars, all in short 60 page or shorter formats, and available for view on http://routledge.customgateway.com/routledge-social-issues.html
For instructors teaching a wide range of courses in the social sciences, the Routledge Social Issues Collection now offers the best of both worlds: originally written short texts that provide "overviews" to important social issues as well as teachable excerpts from larger works previously published by Routledge and other presses.
1. The Industrial Womb: Pregnancy in a Capitalist Market 2. Race, Class and Surrogate Labor: Ethical Dilemmas 3. Becoming a Gestational Surrogate 4. Google Babies: Race, Class & Consumption in the Procreative Supermarket 5. Religious Law and State Regulation: Egypt and Israel 6. India: The Next Frontier in the Global Market 7. Reproductive Liberty and Reproductive Justice