Beyond Considering Surrogates’ Reports at ‘Face Value’: Theorizing and Contextualizing the Autonomy-Related Threats of Surrogacy Arrangements
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As research on surrogacy in Canada is only emerging, this thesis seeks to incite discussion relating to the autonomy of surrogates by analyzing recent studies which capture the experiences of surrogates through surveys and interviews. Much of the current literature on surrogacy focuses on issues around commercialization which are less applicable to Canada where surrogacy is altruistic. Moreover, many scholars have either discussed the autonomy of surrogates only from a theoretical perspective, neglecting surrogates’ personal accounts, or have assumed that the reports of surrogates should be considered at ‘face value.’ Ultimately, I show how the reports of surrogates should be acknowledged but it is also important to consider contextual factors, such as whether the reports may be influenced and shaped by the constraints of surrogacy arrangements. While the reports of surrogates reveal the ways surrogates experience and often manage and resist autonomy-related threats, and in turn call into question theoretical concerns about surrogates lacking autonomy and power, certain theoretical concerns remain which are not identified in the studies, either because of empirical limitations or a failure to engage with them. Overall, my discussion is action guiding: I aim to shape emerging scholarship on surrogacy, so that it accounts for the complexity and nuances of surrogates’ experiences, and I gesture to certain policy interventions which follow from my discussion.
Cite this version of the work
Susannah Mackenzie-Freeman (2022). Beyond Considering Surrogates’ Reports at ‘Face Value’: Theorizing and Contextualizing the Autonomy-Related Threats of Surrogacy Arrangements. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/18719