Transnational Reproduction

Race, Kinship, and Commercial Surrogacy in India

288 pages

1 table

September, 2016

ISBN: 9781479828388



Add to Cart Available: 8/26/2016

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Daisy Deomampo is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Fordham University.

All books by Daisy Deomampo

Transnational Reproduction traces the relationships among Western aspiring parents, Indian surrogates, and egg donors from around the world. In the early 2010s India was one of the top providers of surrogacy services in the world. Drawing on interviews with commissioning parents, surrogates, and egg donors as well as doctors and family members, Daisy Deomampo argues that while the surrogacy industry in India offers a clear example of “stratified reproduction”—the ways in which political, economic, and social forces structure the conditions under which women carry out physical and social reproductive labor—it also complicates that concept as the various actors in this reproductive work struggle to understand their relationships to one another.  

The book shows how these actors make sense of their connections, illuminating the ways in which kinship ties are challenged, transformed, or reinforced in the context of transnational gestational surrogacy. The volume revisits the concept of stratified reproduction in ways that offer a more robust and nuanced understanding of race and power as ideas about kinship intersect with structures of inequality. It demonstrates that while reproductive actors share a common quest for conception, they make sense of family in the context of globalized assisted reproductive technologies in very different ways. In doing so, Deomampo uncovers the specific racial reproductive imaginaries that underpin the unequal relations at the heart of transnational surrogacy.


  • “I highly recommend this book to any person interested in surrogacy, race and kinship in India and beyond.”

    —Noémie Merleau-Ponty, Research Associate, Reproductive Sociology Research Group, University of Cambridge

  • "Accessibly written, it could be taught in undergraduate courses or modules on transnational surrogacy or assisted reproduction and social/economic inequality at lower and upper levels. The book promises to be an important resource for scholars of global markets in reproductive services."

    Medical Anthropology Quarterly

  • "Deomampo shows in exquisite detail how racialized fantasies, stereotypes, and prejudices knot together the long-distance, cross-border threads of intimate commerce and citizenship involved in Indian surrogacy.  European, North American, Australian, and other commissioning parents are connected to their Indian surrogates and entrepreneurial providers through diverse legal and social connections, yet all involve prior powerful notions of race at the heart of transnational family-making. This focus enriches and complicates discussions of Indian surrogacy."

    —Rayna Rapp, New York University

  • "Building upon the classic feminist concept of stratified reproduction, Deomampo is the first to offer a powerful critique of the racialization inherent in transnational surrogacy practices. Combining detailed ethnography with critical medical anthropological perspectives, Transnational Reproduction is both hard-hitting and provocative, challenging the race, class, and gender inequities underlying India’s commercial gestational surrogacy scene."

    —Marcia C. Inhorn, author of Cosmopolitan Conceptions: IVF Sojourns in Global Dubai