Situating India in the Globalscape of Inequalities

  • Sheela Saravanan


India became a popular global destination for assisted reproduction, supported by the Indian government. In the backdrop of this increasing popularity was ineffective governance, unregistered clinics, and a growing market that was embedded in socio-economic inequalities in India. This chapter reviews the inequalities, ineffective governance, unclear surrogacy regulations, and unethical practices which have made countries such as India an ideal environment for global injustice in the process of commercial surrogacy. Women with limited entitlements in terms of education and employment possibilities entered into unjust surrogacy contracts that included triple alienation—from their own bodies, an alienation from the rest of the world, and from the babies born to them. The chapter begins with this backdrop of socio-economic and health inequalities in India as most surrogate mothers are primary or high-school drop-outs before proceeding with the inequalities within the surrogacy biomarkets; unfair distribution of benefits, alienation, violation of good medical practices, and the commodification of children and women’s bodies. I also introduced and contested the liberal argument that normalizes surrogacy as any other form of work or labour.


Socio-economic inequalities Maternal health Surrogacy as work Surrogate homes Segmented reproduction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anthropology, South Asia InstituteHeidelberg UniversityHeidelbergGermany

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