Thinking through surrogacy legislation in India: reflections on relational consent and the rights of infertile women

Unnithan, Maya (2013) Thinking through surrogacy legislation in India: reflections on relational consent and the rights of infertile women. Journal of Legal Anthropology, 2013 (3). pp. 287-313. ISSN 1758-9584

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Abstract

As its main focus the article is concerned with explaining the proposed Indian Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) Bill 2010 (2008), and in particular discusses some of its limitations using a relational conception of consent and autonomy. It is argued that two major limitations arise from, firstly,the way the Bill attempts to introduce niversal’ notions of informed consent into a cultural context of socially determined decisionmaking,resulting in the failure to safeguard the welfare of Indian surrogates. A second limitation is that the proposed law entitles only some poor women (surrogates) in India to realise access to quality medical healthcare services compared to others (poor, infertile women). Given the significant class and gender based inequalities which frame reproductive healthcare service delivery in the country, legally guaranteed access to health services for surrogates becomes a privilege where the rights of some individuals and couples to reproduce and exercise procreative agency is valued and not others. The article argues that the Bill must give due consideration to the complex, relational and highly stratified contexts in which women undertake childbearing in India to understand why legally comprehensive consent procedures can co-exist with violations of personhood in practice. Without such consideration the article suggests that injustice toward infertile women can become part of the same legal process wherein overcoming infertility is recognised as a right.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Jayne Paulin
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2013 13:44
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2017 11:04
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/45310

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