Check out this image of the planned one stop shop Doctor Patel of Akshanka has planned! It looks like a design inspired by neurons. You can read the article here if you are interested in a bit of sensational reporting 😉 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2439977/The-baby-factory-In-huge-clinic-India-hundreds-women-paid-5-000-Western-couples-babies.html
I’m not sure about the title of this one – if anything is being outsourced in commercial/compensated surrogacy arrangements it is the uterus rather than life. Nonetheless this is an interesting account of transnational surrogacy.
You can have a read here: http://www.sfchronicle.com/local/bayarea/item/India-surrogacy-23858.php
“I have made something so much bigger than anything I could make in the factory” Indrani, Gestational carrier
Dr Sharmila Rudrappa’s recent article in ASA’s journal Contexts is based on interviews with women who previously worked as gestational carriers in Bangalore, India. It is well written and worth the read as Rudrappa has managed to cut through the academic jargon and cover many of the relevant issues in a relatively small space. Every surrogacy/infertility centre in India is different and the background of the women working as surrogates differs from one to the next. My findings, like Rudrappa’s, indicated that surrogate workers were of the working classes and that they were happy to work as surrogates. However, where most of the surrogates I spoke with had different work histories ranging from domestic workers to pharmacy assistants the women in Rudrappa’s study had almost all been working in garment factories. Like Pande, Rudrappa views surrogacy work as an extension of factory work. Unlike the exhausting and dehumanising impact of factory work and “given their employment options and their relative dispossession, they believed that Bangalore’s reproduction industry afforded them greater control over their emotional, financial, and sexual lives. In comparison to garment work, surrogacy was easy”(Rudrappa, Sociologist).
I just came across this short documentary of a Dutch couple beginning their surrogacy journey in Hyderbad:
There are two ceremonies involving sacred thread in India (that I know of). One celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters and another the relationship between a boy and his spiritual identity. Raksha Bandhan or the bond of protection is an annual festival in India. During the related ceremony sisters tie a sacred thread, or rakhi, around their brothers wrist. This act symbolises the sisters wish for her brothers well-being as well as the brothers responsibility to protect his sister. The sacred thread ceremony or Upanayana is an initiation ceremony wherein a boy accepts a spiritual identity and teacher. The Jenoi (sacred thread) is tied around the initiated boy’s wrist. In both instances the sacred thread is worn by a male and reminds him of his responsibilities whether related to his spiritual integrity or his brotherly responsibilities. Women may tie the thread but do not wear it. So, it is interesting that a new book on an IP experience of surrogacy in India is titled the Sacred Thread. The author, Adrienne Arieff describes her unusual journey into motherhood. Unlike most IPs who become parents through surrogacy in India, Arieff was able to move to Anand in Gujurat for the duration of the pregnancy and spend time with Vaina, her children’s surrogate. I love the idea of claiming the very male symbol of the sacred thread to describe the relationship between herself and Vaina as well as that between Vaina and the authors children. I can not think of a thread more sacred than the life giving umbilical cord – I love that this notion weaves itself into the imagery of the title.
It is finally available for sale! You can read all about the author and the book as well as purchase your own copy of the book here: http://www.childrensurrogacybook.com/index.html#bookmark5
This newest children’s book is authored and illustrated by Sofia Prezani who had her son through a surrogacy arrangement in the UK. What a fantastic gift to her son!