Sheela Suryanarayanan (Saravanan), PhD, has worked on gender issues since 1998 and specialises in surrogacy, sex-selective abortions, and prenatal screening. Her book on surrogacy is titled A Transnational Feminist View of Surrogacy Biomarkets in India, published by Springer Nature, Singapore.
The destination and source countries for commercial surrogacy match world patterns of inequality. India, Nepal, Thailand, Mexico, and Cambodia banned commercial surrogacy, moving the market to other less-developed countries in South Africa and South America. India had a commercial surrogacy boom until exploitative factors led to the passage of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill in 2019, which banned the practice. This paper examines surrogacy's monetary, health, and emotional effects on 45 surrogate mothers in Gujarat State, India. The study revealed that a majority (63%) of the very poor women remained very poor post-surgery. Surrogate mothers in poor households had to do at least two surrogacies to be able to buy a property. After surrogacy, some poor households (16%) slipped deeper into poverty and became destitute. The physical effects of surrogacy on the women's bodies were multiple. One-third of the very poor women's health was severely affected. All surrogate mothers reported emotional problems post-surrogacy, and their family members experienced them as well. The poorest of the poor suffered the worst physical effects of surrogacy. This study reveals that the assumption that surrogacy provides income for the very poor surrogate mothers is false.
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Suryanarayanan, Sheela (2023) "Poverty and Commercial Surrogacy in India: An Intersectional Analytical Approach," Dignity: A Journal of Analysis of Exploitation and Violence: Vol. 8: Iss. 2, Article 4. https://doi.org/10.23860/dignity.2023.08.02.04
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