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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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“I Am the Baby’s Real Mother”

“I Am the Baby’s Real Mother”

Reproductive Tourism and the Transnational Construction of Kinship

(p.165) 5 “I Am the Baby’s Real Mother”
Brown Bodies, White Babies

Laura Harrison

NYU Press

This chapter considers the transnational circuits of reproductive labor, particularly what is known as reproductive tourism, from the United States to India. Broadly speaking, “reproductive tourism” is a relatively recent term coined to describe the increasing travel across national boundaries by individuals seeking fertility services, including donor eggs and sperm, procedures such as in vitro fertilization, and surrogacy. Reproductive tourism is motivated by a number of factors, such as legal restrictions, long waiting lists for donors and surrogates, and expensive prices that can be greatly reduced by “shopping around” for services. Further, this chapter examines how notions of race and genetic determinism are mapped uneasily onto surrogacy in India. Intended parents benefit from the racial and economic “difference” between themselves and Indian surrogates.

Keywords:   reproductive labor, reproductive tourism, United States, India, genetic determinism

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