Babies for Sale?

Transnational Surrogacy, Human Rights and the Politics of Reproduction

Edited by Miranda Davies


A study of transnational surrogacy grounded in feminist perspectives.

Transnational surrogacy – the creation of babies across borders – has become big business. Globalization, reproductive technologies, new family formations and rising infertility are combining to produce a 'quiet revolution' in social and medical ethics and the nature of parenthood. Whereas much of the current scholarship has focused on the US and India, this groundbreaking anthology offers a far wider perspective.

Featuring contributions from over thirty activists and scholars from a range of countries and disciplines, this collection offers the first genuinely international study of transnational surrogacy. Its innovative bottom-up approach, rooted in feminist perspectives, gives due prominence to the voices of those most affected by the global surrogacy chain, namely the surrogate mothers, donors, prospective parents and the children themselves. Through case studies ranging from Israel to Mexico, the book outlines the forces that are driving the growth of transnational surrogacy, as well as its implications for feminism, human rights, motherhood and masculinity.

Author Bio

Miranda Davies is a writer and editor with a longstanding interest in gender, development and human rights. She has worked for numerous organisations, including Isis International Women's Network, the Central America Committee for Human Rights, Virago, Channel Four, the Rough Guides, Sort Of Books and CoramBAAF Adoption and Fostering Academy, where she is managing editor of Adoption & Fostering journal. This is her fourth international anthology for Zed.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction - Miranda Davies
  • Part I: Reconstructing Parenthood
    • 1. Motherhood in Fragments: The Disaggregation of Biology and Care - Laurel Swerdlow and Wendy Chavkin
    • 2. Constructions of Gay Men’s Reproductive Desires on Commercial Surrogacy Clinic Websites - Damien Riggs and Clemence Due
  • Part II: Global Babies: Who Benefits?
    • 3. Transnational Surrogacy and the Earthquake in Nepal: A Case Study from Israel - Carmel Shalev, Hedva Eyal and Etti Samama
    • 4. Recruiting to Give Birth: Agent-Facilitators and the Commercial Surrogacy Arrangement in India - Sarojini Nadimpally and Anindita Majumdar (Sama)
    • 5. Gestational Surrogacy: How Safe? - Diane Beeson and Abby Lippman
    • 6. The Fertility Continuum: Racism, Bio-capitalism and Post-colonialism in the Transnational Surrogacy Industry - France Winddance Twine
    • 7. Networks of Reproduction: Politics and Practices Surrounding Surrogacy in Romania - Enikö Demény
    • 8. Surrogacy Arrangements in Austerity Greece: Policy Considerations in a Permissive Regime - Konstantina Davaki
  • Part III: What about the Children?
    • 9. What are Children’s 'Best Interests' in International Surrogacy? A Social Work Perspective from the UK - Marilyn Crawshaw, Patricia Fronek, Eric Blyth and Andy Elvin
    • 10. What about the Children? Citizenship, Nationality and the Perils of Statelessness - Marsha Tyson Darling
    • 11. Transnational Third-Party Assisted Conception: Pursuing the Desire for ‘Origins’ Information in the Internet Era - Deborah Dempsey and Fiona Kelly
  • Part IV: Feminist Responses around the World
    • 12. Frequently Unasked Questions: Understanding and Responding to Gaps in Public Knowledge of International Surrogacy Practices Worldwide - Ayesha Chatterjee and Sally Whelan (Our Bodies Ourselves)
    • 13. Surrogate Motherhood: Ethical or Commercial? - The Centre for Social Research
    • 14. Surrogacy in Mexico - Isabel Fulda and Regina Tamés (GIRE)
    • 15. A Reproductive Justice Analysis of Genetic Technologies: Report of a National Convening of Women of Colour and Indigenous Women - Generations Ahead
    • 16. I Donated my Eggs and I Wouldn’t Do It Again - Ari Laurel
    • 17. A Feminist No to Surrogate Motherhood - Kajsa Ekman, Linn Hellerström and the Swedish Women’s Lobby
  • Part V: Looking Ahead
    • 18. Mapping Feminist Views on Surrogacy - Emma Maniere
    • 19. Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India: To Ban or Not to Ban - Amrita Pande
    • 20. Governing Transnational Surrogacy Practices: What Role Can National and International Regulations Play? - Sonia Allan


‘Tackles the booming business in cross-border surrogacy with a provocative collection of international feminist perspectives.’
Marcy Darnovsky, Executive Director, Center for Genetics and Society

‘Transcending the usual rhetoric of reproductive choice and free markets, these authors provide reasoned argument and survey evidence from around the globe.’
Donna Dickenson, University of London (Emeritus)

‘Miranda Davies has brought together a number of eminent authors and produced an outstanding collection. This book adds an entirely new dimension to the debate on the ethics of cross-border commercial surrogacy.’
Katarina Trimmings, University of Aberdeen

‘These original, informed and critical analyses of transnational surrogacy make a vital intervention in impassioned debates. They deserve to be widely read.’
Ann Phoenix, Institute of Education, University of London

'A ground-breaking book, where the voices of activists and those of researchers come together to address one of the most important, and complex, phenomena of our time: the transnational market in baby-making.'
Yasmine Ergas, Columbia University

'The collection lays out detailed considerations that should be taken into account, through legal regulation, in any surrogacy arrangement, regardless of a country’s position … Whether this will be done, and if so, how rapidly, will depend on the energy brought … Miranda Davies’ anthology is an invaluable contribution to galvanising that energy.'
Jane Cottingham, Reproductive Health Matters

'Useful for collections on globalization, medical ethics, and international law ... highly recommended.'

'A brilliant collection.'
Amelia Abraham, Refinery 29


Publication Date: 15 March 2017
416 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783607013
Hardback: 9781783607020
eBook ePub: 9781783607044
eBook PDF: 9781783607037
eBook Kindle: 9781783607051

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