Current Institutional Affiliation
Postdoctoral Scholar, Institute for Practical Ethics, University of California / San Diego

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2015
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Sociology, University of Southern California
The Global Market for Wombs: A Study of the Transnational Surrogacy Industry in Mexico

Over the past decade innovations in biotechnologies have supported the emergence of a multi-billion dollar industry that is characterized by complex regulatory regimes associated with the use of assisted reproductive technologies and the commodification of reproductive labor. Scholars have studied surrogacy through the lens of kinship, but little attention has been paid to the processes through which women's bodies are leveraged as potential capital on a global scale. My dissertation will examine these processes by studying the emerging transnational surrogacy industry in Mexico. Using an approach informed by feminist literature on reproductive politics, studies of labor in a global context, and science, technology, and society scholarship, I will investigate how transnational surrogacy refashions women's reproductive labor to serve the needs of a global market. Focusing on Mexico, the most recent hub for surrogacy tourism, I will examine the process through which a country becomes a global destination for surrogacy, including the legal, medical, and infrastructural frameworks that facilitate this phenomenon, the role of transnational coordinators in directing clients to specific locations, and the construction of women's wombs as "rentable."