Childbirth at the Global Crossroads | The American Prospect
We have grown used to the idea of a migrant worker caring for our children and even to the idea of hopping an overseas flight for surgery. As global service work grows increasingly personal, surrogacy is the latest expression of this trend. Nowadays, a wealthy person can purchase it all -- the egg, the sperm, and time in the womb. "A childless couple gains a child. A poor woman earns money. What could be the problem?" asks Dr. Nayna Patel, Akanksha's founder and director.
But despite Patel's view of commercial surrogacy as a straightforward equation, it's far more complicated for both the surrogates and the genetic parents. Like nannies or nurses, surrogates perform "emotional labor" to suppress feelings that could interfere with doing their job. Parents must decide how close they are willing (or able) to get to the woman who will give birth to their child.
As science and global capitalism gallop forward, they kick up difficult questions about emotional attachment. What, if anything, is too sacred to sell?