A Critical Approach to Surrogacy
Reproductive Desires and Demands
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.
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
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.
"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
"Riggs and Due offer an engaging read and a compelling critical view of surrogacy, which they explore through a capitalist perspective... I do recommend that everyone involved with surrogacy reads this book (professionals, clinics, surrogates and intended parents) to guarantee they are fully informed of both sides of the debate, and especially for professionals and assisted reproduction clinics to ensure that people are put before profit." - Jason Maldonado-Page, Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
"A Critical Approach to Surrogacy by Damien Riggs and Clemence Due is a rigorous empirical analysis of surrogacy as a fast-evolving social issue in human reproduction today… a compelling read for all social scientists keen on the subject of surrogacy and its role in social justice and health equity." - Joseph Mwita Kisito, Feminism & Psychology