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Potential, risk, and return in transnational indian gestational surrogacy

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https://doi.org/10.1086/671018
Abstract

Based on fieldwork at a transnational surrogacy clinic in India and analysis of assisted reproductive technology (ART) legislation under consideration in the Indian parliament, this paper examines how bodies become potentialized through a combination of technology and networks of social and economic inequality. In this process, the meaning that participants assign to bodies and social relationships mediated by bodies becomes destabilized in a way that allows some surrogates to imagine and work toward a connection to commissioning parents that will offer them long-term benefit. The politics that position the clinic to potentialize the bodies of surrogates-and as a result the relations between participants and their imagined outcomes-occur at a moment of global demand for ARTs. As such, they rely on differentiation of subjects culturally, geographically, and economically. This article examines how the potentializing of women's bodies as surrogates occurs at the nexus of political, medical, and social influences in one ART clinic and how the resulting social relations are negotiated between participants in the clinic. © 2013 by The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. All rights reserved.

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