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Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family

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Once their demands for better conditions and collectives have been met, Lewis suggests surrogates are the ones likely to want wider reproductive justice: “Families who have helped other families might enact ongoing kinship though forms of solidarity more meaningful than payment” (147). The Farm” is a largely naturalistic book set in a modern-day New York, where the immigrants live in Flushing and the rich live on Park Avenue. For example, the peculiar sense of ownership parents often have over children: ‘Obviously, infants do belong to the people who care for them in a sense, but they aren’t property’ (19). For Lewis, “‘family abolition’ refers to the (necessarily postcapitalist) end of the double-edged coercion whereby the babies we gestate are ours and ours alone, to guard, invest in, and prioritize” (119).

She is a member of the Out of the Woods collective, an editor at Blind Field: a Journal of Cultural Inquiry , and a queer feminist committed to cyborg ecology and anti-fascism. This book is a must-read for those interested in queer feminist engagements with family, reproductive labour and global class relations. Lewis might argue that the goal is not to eliminate these kinds of families at all, but rather to proliferate caring relations. In these regards, the issue is not about being pro or anti surrogacy, but about improving working conditions (44).

It offers both a convincing polemic about surrogacy’s past and present, and a vision of how to make it both more common and more mutually beneficial. The Farm” does not take a clear stance on the ethics of surrogacy itself, but, like Lewis’s book, it makes a mockery of Mae’s claim that such a job is “a gateway to a better life.

All of the Akanksha surrogates are required to have children of their own already, ostensibly because they know how difficult it is to raise a child and are therefore less likely to want to keep the ones they’re carrying. Whether or not you agree with her perspective, the author makes an extremely interesting argument about the labor of reproduction. The New Yorker may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers.There is an extended discussion of the Akanksha Clinic in Anand, Gujarat, India, and its charismatic head doctor, Dr. Jane is quarantined at Golden Oaks when her one-year-old, Mali, takes her first steps and speaks her first words. For one, oppressed peoples may want to hold onto “their” families as important sites of resistance, as Lewis notes in relation to Palestinians seeking genetics-preserving IVF (155).

This book goes far into places where few gender abolitionists have ventured and brings us a vision of another life. It draws all pregnant people, and also those who support pregnant people (that is, all of us), rather than only those engaged in the niche practice of surrogacy, into the discussion.

For a business that deals in common ingredients and a mature technology, surrogacy is curiously expensive. Radical that she is, Sophie Lewis gets right to the root of the matter--and, radical that she is, finds its roots to be 'intersecting and entangled, lovely, replicative, baroque', as one of her own gestators, Donna Haraway, might put it. It gives the views of the author, not the position of EUROPP – European Politics and Policy or the London School of Economics. None of these comments are meant to be destructive to the project of proliferating caring relations in a more communal way but rather constructive to it. Commercial surrogacy, the practice of paying a woman to carry and birth a child whom she will not parent, is largely unregulated in America.

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