Surrogacy as Reproductive Labour – Shifting Registers of Recognition

11th December 2020 

We approach surrogacy through the lens of social reproduction alongside our study of other forms of women’s reproductive labour including sex work, erotic dancing, paid domestic work and unpaid domestic work. As materialist feminists theorising surrogacy in these terms, participants debated how we might understand the continuum of Indian feminist positions on surrogacy given anti-caste and queer feminist critiques of the ART market and the heteronormative family form, respectively. What are the possibilities for reimagining an agenda for reproductive justice and activating and enhancing the subversive potential of ARTs and surrogacy? Scholars further explored the impact of surrogacy bans and the mitigation strategies used by stakeholders to deal with the uncertainty of existing and proposed bans of commercial surrogacy. In particular, we discussed the reduced enthusiasm for mobilisation and bargaining in the wake of the ban on transnational surrogacy and how this might be reversed including through transnational linkages and solidarities.

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