“Broken Bonds and Big Money” will draw attention to the human rights abuses committed through surrogacy arrangements against so-called “surrogate” mothers, egg “donors” and the children resulting from surrogacy.

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Broken Bonds and Big Money is an international conference to draw attention to the human rights abuses committed through surrogacy. It will be held March 15-16, 2019 at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia.

The aim of the International Conference on Surrogacy, organized by FINRRAGE (an Australian organizational signatory of Stop Surrogacy Now) and Spinifex Press, is to showcase the human rights abuses committed through surrogacy arrangements – commercial and altruistic – against so-called “surrogate” mothers, egg “donors” and the children resulting from surrogacy.

Speakers will draw attention to the Big Money that drives the cross-border surrogacy trade in which IVF clinics, surrogacy brokers and lawyers make huge profits, while the “breeder” women pay the price with harms to their health as well as ongoing loss and sorrow over the child(ren) they grew in their bodies, gave birth to, and had taken away.

collage of conference speakers

Speakers will include an Australian surrogate mother and her lawyer; Maggie Eastman, an egg “donor” from the USA; as well as Dr. Sheela Saravanan from India, author of “A Transnational Feminist View of Surrogacy Biomarkets in India.” Jennifer Lahl, surrogacy expert from Stop Surrogacy Now, will address the conference about the state of surrogacy in the USA and internationally. Dr. Catherine Lynch, Jo Fraser and Penny Mackieson, who are members of organizations critical of adoption, point out the close connections between surrogacy and discredited adoption practices, asking the pertinent question: “Why are we making the same mistakes again?”

Other speakers include:

  • Dr. Caroline Norma on “Setting the Scene”
  • Associate Professor Kate Rose from China on “Mary Daly and Surrogacy”
  • Pauline Hopkins on “Surrogacy and the Myths of Womanhood”
  • Dr. Susan Hawthorne on “Misogyny Fueling Gay Surrogacy”
  • Melinda Tankard Reist on “Mother Erasure”
  • Dr. Renate Klein, author of “Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation,” on “CRISPR Eugenics.”

Highlights of the conference will be the launch of the new Spinifex Press anthology, “Broken Bonds: Surrogate Mothers Speak Out” (edited by Jennifer Lahl, Melinda Tankard Reist and Renate Klein), and the Australian debut screening of “#Big Fertility: It’s All About the Money,” produced by Jennifer Lahl. “Broken Bonds: Surrogate Mothers Speak Out” will be available in the US in April, “#BigFertility: It’s All About The Money” is available now worldwide through Vimeo.

Conference participants will also discuss local and global strategies for the abolition of surrogacy.

Conference organizers FINRRAGE (Australia) and Spinifex Press are supported by sponsors Stop Surrogacy Now, Women’s Bioethics Alliance and the Center for Bioethics and Culture. Find out more on the Facebook event page, at Eventbrite or email promotions@spinifexpress.com.au.

Broken Bonds book launch

Broken Bonds book cover with illustrated facesThe launch of Broken Bonds: Surrogate Mothers Speak Out, co-edited by Jennifer Lahl, Melinda Tankard Reist, and Dr. Renate Klein and published by Spinifex Press will take place at 5:45 p.m. Friday, March 15 as part of the conference. Professor S. Caroline Taylor will launch the book. Attendees can pre-order a copy at a special conference price through the Eventbrite ticket form.

In this book, courageous women from the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, India, Austria and Russia share their stories of becoming ‘surrogate’ mothers out of kindness and compassion (or need for money), only to be deceived, neglected, abused, harassed, or abandoned by ‘baby buyers’, clinics, and lawyers. Their stories are tragic, shocking, and revelatory of a profit-driven industry that preys on desperation and women’s compassion.

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Originally posted on MelindaTankardReist.com