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A Human Rights Violation

Spinifex Shorts


220 Pages, 5.25 x 7.25

Formats: Trade Paper, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket

Trade Paper, $19.95 (US $19.95) (CA $19.95)

Publication Date: November 2017

ISBN 9781925581034

Rights: US, CA & MX

Spinifex Press (Nov 2017)


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Surrogacy is heavily promoted by the stagnating IVF industry which seeks new markets for women over 40, and gay men who believe they have a 'right' to their own children and 'family foundation'. Pro-surrogacy groups in rich countries such as Australia and Western Europe lobby for the shift to commercial surrogacy. Their capitalist neo-liberal argument is that a well-regulated fertility industry would avoid the exploitative practices of poor countries. Central to the project of transnational surrogacy is the ideology that legalized commercial surrogacy is a legitimate means to provide infertile couples and gay men with children who share all or part of their genes. Women, without whose bodies this project is not possible are reduced to incubators, to ovens, to suitcases. And the 'product child' is a tradable commodity who has never consented to being a 'take away baby': removed from their birth mother and given to strangers aka 'intended parents'. Still, those in favour of this practice of reproductive slavery speak of 'Fair Trade International Surrogacy' and 'responsible surrogacy'.

Author Biography

Renate Klein, PhD, was Associate Professor in Women's Studies at Deakin University, Melbourne, until her retirement in 2006, and is the (co)author/(co)editor of 14 books. She is a biologist and social scientist and taught courses on Reproductive Medicine and Feminist Ethics. Since the 1980s, she has conducted critical feminist research into the new and old reproductive technologies including international population control, IVF (fertility drugs), hormonal and immunological contraceptives, surrogacy, RU 486 and Gardasil. She is the editor of numerous books including Test-Tube Women (1984), Theories of Women's Studies (1983), Infertility (1989) and Radically Speaking (1996). She is the co-author of RU 486: Misconception, Myths and Morals (1991) which received a Certificate of Commendation in The Australian Human Rights Award for Non-fiction and author of The Exploitation of a Desire (1989).