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Brown Bodies, White BabiesThe Politics of Cross-Racial Surrogacy$
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Laura Harrison

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479808175

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479808175.001.0001

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The Woman or the Egg?

The Woman or the Egg?

Comparing Surrogacy and Egg Donation Databases

(p.129) 4 The Woman or the Egg?
Brown Bodies, White Babies

Laura Harrison

NYU Press

This chapter contextualizes the shifting popular and scientific discourses of race since the mid-twentieth century by analyzing databases of egg donors and surrogates created by agencies to connect intended parents with the women who provide these services. Selected from a list curated by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, agencies are contrasted based on their representation of traits like the race and ethnicity of surrogates and egg donors. Reproductive technologies demonstrate that despite scientific debates, race-based medicines continue to promote and reflect a popular understanding of distinct biological races. Thus, the egg donor and surrogacy databases built by ART clinics reflect often-unspoken assumptions about race and heritability.

Keywords:   RESOLVE, ASRM, race, ethnicity, egg donors, surrogacy databases, heritability

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