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Open Access Publications from the University of California

This series is automatically populated with publications deposited by UC San Diego Department of Ethnic Studies researchers in accordance with the University of California’s open access policies. For more information see Open Access Policy Deposits and the UC Publication Management System.

Cover page of Experimental Sociality and Gestational Surrogacy in the Indian ART Clinic

Experimental Sociality and Gestational Surrogacy in the Indian ART Clinic


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.

Cover page of Potential, Risk, and Return in Transnational Indian Gestational Surrogacy

Potential, Risk, and Return in Transnational Indian Gestational Surrogacy


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.