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Bodily Interventions and Intimate LabourUnderstanding Bioprecarity$
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Gabriele Griffin and Doris Leibetseder

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526138569

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526138576

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 17 June 2021

Precarious Pregnancies and Precious Products

Precarious Pregnancies and Precious Products

Transnational commercial surrogacy in Thailand

Chapter:
(p.113) 6 Precarious Pregnancies and Precious Products
Source:
Bodily Interventions and Intimate Labour
Author(s):

Elina Nilsson

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526138576.00014

This chapter explores the intimate labour performed by surrogate mothers in the globalized fertility market. Using her body and providing her womb and uterus, blood and sweat, the surrogate mother engages in a highly embodied labour (Pande, 2014). At the same time, the non-genetic relation between the foetus and the surrogate is used by clients and clinics to reduce the woman to a ‘gestational carrier’ and a ‘mere vessel’ (Gupta, 2008; Pande, 2010). By drawing on interviews with Thai women enrolled in transnational commercial surrogacy, this chapter highlights the surrogate mothers’ precarious and vulnerable position in a process of cross-cultural biotechnological intervention with inherently differential power relations among the stakeholders.

Keywords:   surrogacy, intimate labour, commercial surrogacy, transnational surrogacy, surrogate mother, Thai surrogates, fertility market

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