A Critical Approach to Surrogacy: Reproductive Desires and Demands, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A Critical Approach to Surrogacy

Reproductive Desires and Demands, 1st Edition

By Damien W Riggs, Clemence Due


148 pages

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Paperback: 9781138123656
pub: 2017-09-13
Hardback: 9781138123618
pub: 2017-09-13
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315648750
pub: 2019-02-01
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This comprehensive text makes an important contribution to the study of surrogacy, developing a novel theoretical framework through which to understand the broader social contexts as well as individual decisions at play within surrogacy arrangements.

Drawing on empirical research conducted by the authors and supplemented by secondary analyses of media, legislative and public accounts of surrogacy, the book engages with the key stakeholders involved in the practice of surrogacy. Specifically, it canvases the standpoints of women who act as surrogates, intending parents who commission surrogacy arrangements, children born through surrogacy, clinics that facilitate the arrangements, and politicians and journalists who engage with the topic.

Through a focus on capitalism as a means of orientating ourselves to the topic of surrogacy, the book highlights the vulnerabilities that potentially arise in the context of surrogacy, as well as the claims to agency invoked by some parties in order to mitigate vulnerability. In so doing, the book demonstrates that the psychology of surrogacy must be broadly understood as an orientation to particular ways of thinking about children, reproduction and economies of labour.


‘From the desires and imaginings of intended parents, the precarity of surrogates in India, and discourses of children born through surrogacy, to clinic marketing and media hysteria, Riggs and Due critically disorient our perspectives on surrogacy and question how the capitalist logic underpinning surrogacy differentially produces vulnerabilities. Beautifully written, this empathetic analysis is an important contribution.’Andrea Whittaker, Monash University, Australia

‘Through a rigorous engagement with the literature on surrogacy, and orienting the reader to the forces unleashed by capitalism, Riggs and Due tell us how surrogacy is rendered intelligible for the various actors involved. Richly theorized and beautifully written, A Critical Approach to Surrogacy is a must-read in the rapidly growing field of infertility studies.’ Sharmila Rudrappa, University of Texas at Austin, USA

Table of Contents

1. Becoming (dis)oriented 2. Conceptual tools 3. Women who act as surrogates 4. Intending parents 5. Children and surrogacy 6. Surrogacy clinics 7. Media and public discourse 8. Ways forward

About the Authors

Dr Damien W. Riggs is an Associate Professor in Social Work at Flinders University and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow.

Dr Clemence Due is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

About the Series

Critical Approaches to Health

The Routledge Critical Approaches to Health series aims to present critical, inter-disciplinary books around psychological, social and cultural issues related to health. Each volume in the series provides a critical approach to a particular issue or important topic, and is of interest and relevance to students and practitioners across the social sciences. The series is produced in association with the International Society of Critical Health Psychology (ISCHP).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Applied Psychology