Button 3 Session 2 Sun

SHEELA SARAVANAN

SHEELA SARAVANAN

SURROGACY IMPACT ON WOMEN IN INDIA, AGENCY AND HUMAN RIGHTS

India had become one of the most important global surrogacy destination until commercial surrogacy was banned in September 2015. I conducted one study on surrogacy in India in 2009-10 and a follow-up study in February 2019. This study aimed at examining the human and child rights violations in the surrogacy practice and the physical, psychological and emotional impact of surrogacy on 45 surrogate mothers and their family members.

Some of the key findings of this study were that; several illegal, inhuman and unethical surrogacy practices was rampant. Some serious violations of human rights are taking place; women are detained in surrogate homes against their wishes, their body and integrity is violated, illegal sex selective abortions are being performed, none of the surrogate mothers were given a copy of their contract, the manner in which the children have been relinquished is crude and without the consent of the surrogate mothers; eventually all surrogate mothers are compulsorilyalienated from the babies born. Almost all surrogate mothers perceived surrogacy as a form of slavery. This study revealed that women from very poor households have had to repeat surrogacy at least two times to bring the family out of poverty. This was at the cost of their physical and psychological well-being. Health, education and housing was the main reason to do surrogacy in India. The Government of India needs to provide cost-efficient housing, education and health care for the poor, as an utmost priority

JULIE BINDEL

JULIE BINDEL

SURROGACY IS PATRIARCHAL VIOLENCE

Surrogacy is increasingly presented as a procedure that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children. 

But its accelerating use by gay couples is no victory for freedom or emancipation. On the contrary, the “gaybe revolution” has brought a disturbing slide into the brutal exploitation of women, who usually come from the developing world and often are bullied or pimped into renting their wombs to satisfy the selfish desires of wealthy Westerners. This cruelty is accompanied by epic hypocrisy. People from Europe and the United States who would shudder at the idea of involvement in human or sex trafficking are themselves indulging in a grotesque form of “reproductive trafficking.” 

 

What’s more, their support for this vicious business exists alongside the shameful neglect of abandoned or abused children in their own countries. Even as commercial surrogacy has become fashionable, child welfare authorities face increasing difficulty finding foster or adoptive parents for the many thousands of children languishing in residential care. This amounts to a deepening crisis in fostering and adoption in Britain and the United States.

RENATE KLEIN

RENATE KLEIN

WHY WE NEED TO ABOLISH SURROGACY RATHER THAN REGULATE IT

Surrogacy is a global phenomenon with poor countries in the South like India, Nepal, Thailand and Cambodia providing the ‘breeders’ to baby buyers in the rich global North (and Australia/New Zealand). More recently, these countries have closed their doors to foreigners who are now turning to poor East European countries like Ukraine and Russia. Surrogacy violates the rights of ‘surrogates’ (also called gestational carriers, both misogynist labels) who have the task to grow a baby from their own blood and bones only to relinquish it after an often dangerous pregnancy and difficult birth. It also violates the rights of egg ‘donors’ – always required when two gay men want to acquire a baby with half of their own genetic material. Egg donation is dangerous and can leave the woman with serious ill health (e.g. cancer) and loss of her own fertility. Moreover, in most cases she will never know the child to whom she is the genetic mother. And what about the child? Has s/he ever asked to be a take-away baby, specifically conceived for money or love (in so-called altruistic surrogacy) to be removed at birth from their mother and given to foreigners who are now supposed to be her/his parents? Surrogacy is fundamentally wrong and therefore cannot be regulated at this only cements its existence. Abolition is the only way to go.