The paper argues that the surrogacy industry in India produces geographies of carceral domesticity by deploying disciplining apparatuses governing the day-to-day mundane activities of the reproductive laborers.
Dalia Bhattacharjee, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
The commercial surrogacy industry in India administers in a way where the women working as surrogate mothers live in surrogate houses. It is a space deliberately designed and run by either the fertility clinics or a third-party agency, where the surrogate mothers are required to stay for the entire gestation period. The surrogacy industry in India utilizes the vulnerability of couples who do not or cannot have children, in order to prepare valuable and docile bodies which can serve as a platform for accumulation of wealth.
This paper draws from an ethnographic inquiry of the surrogate housing facilities functioning in two cities in India: Anand and Bengaluru. The paper will argue that the surrogacy industry in India produces geographies of carceral domesticity by deploying disciplining apparatuses governing the day-to-day mundane activities of the reproductive laborers. The medical experts often resort to the narrative that these women cannot be trusted with the safety of the babies they carry, hence, justifying their confinement in the surrogate house.
Further, the possibility that the surrogate mothers may develop emotional attachments to the babies they carry, which in turn, will endanger the surrogacy arrangements, also runs through such narratives of regulation.
Published in: Environment and Planning D: Society and Space
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