Wombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India by Amrita PandeWombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India by Amrita Pande

Wombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India

byAmrita Pande

Paperback | September 23, 2014

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Surrogacy is India's new form of outsourcing, as couples from all over the world hire Indian women to bear their children for a fraction of the cost of surrogacy elsewhere with little to no government oversight or regulation. In the first detailed ethnography of India's surrogacy industry, Amrita Pande visits clinics and hostels and speaks with surrogates and their families, clients, doctors, brokers, and hostel matrons in order to shed light on this burgeoning business and the experiences of the laborers within it. From recruitment to training to delivery, Pande's research focuses on how reproduction meets production in surrogacy and how this reflects characteristics of India's larger labor system.

Pande's interviews prove surrogates are more than victims of disciplinary power, and she examines the strategies they deploy to retain control over their bodies and reproductive futures. While some women are coerced into the business by their families, others negotiate with clients and their clinics to gain access to technologies and networks otherwise closed to them. As surrogates, the women Pande meets get to know and make the most of advanced medical discoveries. They traverse borders and straddle relationships that test the boundaries of race, class, religion, and nationality. Those who focus on the inherent inequalities of India's surrogacy industry believe the practice should be either banned or strictly regulated. Pande instead advocates for a better understanding of this complex labor market, envisioning an international model of fair-trade surrogacy founded on openness and transparency in all business, medical, and emotional exchanges.

Amrita Pande is a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Cape Town. Her research focuses on the intersection of new technologies and reproductive labor, and her writings have appeared in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Gender and Society, Critical Social Policy, International Migration Review, Qualitative So...
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Title:Wombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in IndiaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pagesPublished:September 23, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231169914

ISBN - 13:9780231169912

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments1. Introduction: Wombs in Labor2. Pro-natal Technologies in an Anti-natal State3. When the Fish Talk About the Water4. Manufacturing the Perfect Mother-Worker5. Everyday Divinities and God's Labor6. Embodied Labor and Neo-eugenics7. Disposable Workers and Dirty Labor8. Disposable Mothers and Kin Labor9. Conclusion: Aporia of SurrogacyEpilogue: Did the "Sperm on a Rickshaw" Save the Third World?Appendix A. Selected Clauses from the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Regulation) Draft BillAppendix B. Consent Form to Be Signed by SurrogatesAppendix C. Descriptive TablesNotesWorks CitedIndex

Editorial Reviews

Wombs in Labor is a valuable and timely contribution to the steadily increasing scholarship on assisted reproductive technologies and is a fascinating addition to the anthropology of work.