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Experimental Sociality and Gestational Surrogacy in the Indian ART Clinic

Abstract

This article marks experimental modes of sociality in a transnational Indian assisted reproductive technology (ART) clinic as a contact zone between elite doctors, gestational surrogates, and transnational commissioning parents. It examines efforts within one ART clinic to separate social relationships from reproductive bodies in its surrogacy arrangements as well as novel social formations occurring both because of and despite these efforts. Draft regulative legislation in India marks a shift in the distribution of risk among actors in the clinic that parallels a shift in medical practice away from a technique of caring for the body to producing bodies as instruments of contracted service. The clinic provides an opportunity to observe forms of sociality that emerge as experiments with modernities, with different relationships to the body and the social meaning of medicalized biological reproduction, and with understanding the role of the market and altruism in the practice of gestational surrogacy. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

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