surrogacy as a labour in India
Surrogacy in the sense “Everything works like clockwise. We wake up at 8am, have tea, take our medicines and injections, and go back to sleep. Then we wake up at noon, bathe and eat lunch. We basically rests. That’s what is required of us. We are allowed visitors, but not for the night. In the evening, we pray. Then the English tutor comes and teaches us how to speak in English. We will be learning how to use a computer next.”
— Tina, a surrogate mother, describing the timetable, at a surrogacy hostel in Anand, Gujarat, India.
The perfect surrogate – cheap, docile, selfless and nurturing – is produced in the fertility clinics and surrogacy hostels. When one’s identity as a mother is regulated and terminated by a contract, being a good worker, which makes the perfect surrogate subject rather difficult to procedure. Why do women agrees to become surrogates?
A surrogate person can lose the respect of others or be degraded in their eyes, even if she does not self-respect or become degraded in her own eyes. So, to the extent that a person has an interest in the way she is regarded by others, surrogacy may injure those interests.
Defending the family: the rhetoric use of a public/private divide
The debate over whether to permit or ban surrogacy captured large societal conflicts over and concerns about the meaning of motherhood, parenting and family. In particular, both surrogacy supporters and opponents drew on the dominant ideology of a public/private divide in which the family was understood to occupy the private realm. As a result; both frames reinforced the idea that relationships pursued and formed in families should not be interfered with by the outside world.
“Surrogacy threatens to make a sordid business not of family relationship that we consider most sacred, and therefore we must consider the desirability of removing the profit motive from these otherwise sacrosanct means of human activity…. The money changers have entered the temple of our most sacred human relationship……we have a responsibility not to sit idly by”
In the report on surrogate parenting issued by the New York state Table Force on Life and Law: “Many Table Force members also believe that commercial surrogate parenting arrangements will erode the integrity of the family unit and values fundamental to the bond between parents and children. The Task Force concluded that state enforcement of the contracts and the commercial aspects of surrogate parenting pose the greatest potential harm to individuals and to social attitudes and practises.”
As these examples shows, framing surrogacy as ‘baby selling’ emphasised those aspects of the practise that seemed destined to bring the outside commercial world into the private realm of family. The central story of the “baby-selling” frame, that surrogacy amounted to the buying and selling of family relations, was not that would permit compromise.