Demand for Desired Babies and Supply of Surrogate, Sperms and Eggs: Contested Issues, Moral Dilemmas for Next Generation Anthropologists
Infertility is on the rise. Factors are late marriage, lifestyle, and environment leading to 40% male, 40% female infertility and 20% unknown. Last four decades there have been many scientific breakthroughs in reproductive science and technology. There is a huge demand for desired, biological children giving rise to global transnational ART industry, the proliferation of IVF centres, gamete banks, and increasing new reproductive labour markets. The surrogates, egg and sperm donors become "biodesirable" as well "bioavailable". While the reproductive science grew leaps and bounds, we are unable to catch with the consequences of the same socially, legally, morally and ethically. There are different perspectives to look at the reproductive markets. While some see this as a win-win situation for the gamete donors/-surrogates and the commissioning parents, while others see it as unethical to build a business on women's reproductive capacities and there have been medical, legal and unethical practices in some of the IVF clinics reported by some studies across the globe. The panel invites next generation anthropologists, addressing these contested issues, debates, moral dilemmas of fulfilling the desires of infertile couples and also issues of class inequality, women's reproductive labour issues. This panel will address the questions: What is the nature and functioning of the gamete banks?; What are the experiences of surrogates and egg and sperm donors in these reproductive markets?; What are the social, ethical, legal and moral challenges in providing these gametes?; How the demand for "desired babies" promotes the supply of gametes and surrogates?