News in Brief–Global Surrogacy Round-up

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Bits and pieces from around the globe. From the NYT a rather long story that is a recap/expansion of the outsourced surrogacy stories I’ve noted for last month or so. Lots of detail about how it works, who it serves and so on. And then two views of the same phenomenon from around the globe. One from Turkey (where surrogacy is illegal, so people go to Turkish Cyprus), and another from India (a particularly disturbing story about women using surrogates in order to preserve their figures).

It’s noteworthy that within the last months there seems to be heightened attention to surrogacy as a global phenomenon. The outsourcing angle is almost inevitable, given differential costs of living. But the varying legal and cultural attitudes towards surrogacy are also striking. As are the needs that lead people to choose surrogacy. A gay male couple from Israel and a fashion conscious upper caste woman from India partake of the same services, but for vastly different reasons.

All this makes earlier surrogacy discussions in the US–those around Baby M, for example– seem somewhat simplistic. Oh, for the good old days? And concerns that were raised about state-to-state variation in the law governing surrogacy are but the tip of the iceberg now that surrogacy has so clearly gone global.

US surrogacy is expensive. There seems to be little question you can pay less in India. Will that drive prices down in the US? Is that a good thing because more people will have access to a valuable service? Where does this all lead? What about the women who are surrogates in India–impoverished and illiterate and desperate to feed and care for their families? Surely global surrogacy markets warrant some new attention.

–Julie Shapiro (cross-posted from Related Topics)

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