A Transnational Feminist View of Surrogacy Biomarkets in India

  • Sheela Saravanan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Sheela Saravanan
    Pages 1-14
  3. Surrogacy Globalscape and the Feminist Discourse

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Sheela Saravanan
      Pages 17-46
  4. Indian Surrogacy Biomarkets

  5. Feminist Solidarity Towards Humanitarian Assisted Conception

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 159-159
    2. Sheela Saravanan
      Pages 161-172
    3. Sheela Saravanan
      Pages 173-183

About this book


This book takes a reproductive justice approach to argue that surrogacy as practised in the contemporary neoliberal biomarkets crosses the humanitarian thresholds of feminism. Drawing on her ethnographic work with surrogate mothers, intended parents and medical practitioners in India, the author shows the dark connections between poverty, gender, human rights violations and indignity in the surrogacy market. In a developing country like India, bio-technologies therefore create reproductive objects of certain female bodies while promoting an image of reproductive liberation for others. India is a classic example for how far these biomarkets can exploit vulnerabilities for individual requirements in the garb of reproductive liberty. This critical book refers to a range of liberal, radical and postcolonial feminist frameworks on surrogacy, and questions the individual reproductive rights perspective as an approach to examine global surrogacy. It introduces ‘humanitarian feminism’ as an alternative concept to bridge feminist factions divided on contextual and ideological grounds. It hopes to build a global feminist solidarity drawing on a ‘reproductive justice’ approach by recognizing the histories of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, age and immigration oppression in all communities. This work is of interest to researchers and students of medical sociology and anthropology, gender studies, bioethics, and development studies.


feminist discourse on reproductive rights reproductive Justice medical tourism in India surrogate homes commercial surrogacy in India Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice SisterSong Collective sex selection reproductive and sexual health fertility clinics technologies of surrogacy

Authors and affiliations

  • Sheela Saravanan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anthropology, South Asia InstituteHeidelberg UniversityHeidelbergGermany

Bibliographic information