Over the past few years a number of films, both documentary and narrative, have focused on the issue of surrogacy. Below are a few examples such as Google Baby, Breeders: A Subclass of Women?, Points of Origin, Made in India, and others. Scroll down for trailers and more.
Google Baby is a journey across three continents telling the story of the up and coming baby production industry in the age of globalization.
Doron, an Israeli entrepreneur with a high tech background proposes a new service – Pregnancy producing. The pregnancy producer (as he introduces himself) provides customers with a cost effective solution using outsourcing of the surrogacy element to India as a way to lower prices. The preferred genetic material is selected by the clients from their computer: sperm and eggs are purchased on-line and multiple embryos are produced, frozen, packed and shipped by air to India – where they are implanted into the wombs of local surrogates. The customers arrive only at the end of the nine month pregnancy period to pick up their babies.
Today, technology has turned ‘making a baby’ into an act independent of sex. And globalization is making it affordable. All one needs is a credit card. Instructions can be found on YouTube.
Festival of Dangerous Ideas: Kajsa Ekis Ekman – Surrogacy Is Child Trafficking
Surrogacy looks like a win-win situation. But is it? At a closer glance, the surrogacy industry has more to do with prostitution than we might think. Not only is it exploitation of women’s bodies – in fact surrogacy is nothing but baby trade.
Here is a brief interview of Kajsa Ekis Ekman by Julie Bindel. Both Julie Bindel and Kajsa Ekis Ekman are original signers of the Stop Surrogacy Now statement.
Dr. Regula Stämpfli’s TEDx Talk on Commodification
In addition, you may be interested to read Dr. Stämpfli’s remarks to the February 2016, conference Vers l’abolition de la GPA (toward the abolition of all surrogacy) in Paris, France: “Why Surrogacy Should Scare You.”
Breeders: A Subclass of Women?
Surrogacy is fast becoming one of the major issues of the 21st century—celebrities and everyday people are increasingly using surrogates to build their families. But the practice is fraught with complex implications for women, children, and families. What is the impact on the women who serve as surrogates and on the children who are born from surrogacy? In what ways might money complicate things? What about altruistic surrogacy done for a family member or close friend? Is surrogacy a beautiful, loving act or does it simply degrade pregnancy to a service and a baby to a product? Can we find a middle ground? Should we even look for one? Breeders: A Subclass of Women? explores this important issue, talking with surrogates, physicians, psychologists, and activists across the political and ideological spectrum.
Breeders: A Subclass of Women? is available to watch online in English and French (Breeders – une sous-catégorie de femmes?)
E-Book: My Experience as a Surrogate
Following the release of the documentary film Breeders: A Subclass of Women?, the filmmakers have been contacted by many women who have served as surrogates. This ebook contains one woman’s first-person account of her surrogacy experience. While it’s a short read, it’s a powerful and important one.
Points of Origin
Points of Origin is a fictional short film exploring the emotional conflicts an American couple experiences when they hire a surrogate mother in India.
The story follows New Yorkers RJ and Rosemary, who have been trying to have a baby for the past eight years. After failed fertility treatments and miscarriages, surrogacy is their last chance to have the family they want.
But once they arrive in Mumbai and begin the embryo transplant, things go awry. Usually a rock solid couple, the pressure in the last 24 hours leading up to the transplant brings up surprising revelations about each other. This leaves them vulnerable as they face one of the most important experiences of their lives.
Will RJ and Rosemary’s relationship survive the controversial process of surrogacy to have the family they’ve always wanted? Or will their new revelations cause doubts that consume them before it’s too late?
Made in India
In San Antonio, Lisa and Brian Switzer risk their savings with a Medical Tourism company promising them an affordable solution after seven years of infertility. Halfway around the world in Mumbai, 27-year-old Aasia Khan, mother of three, contracts with a fertility clinic to be implanted with the Texas couple’s embryos. Made in India, about real people involved in international surrogacy, follows the Switzers and Aasia through every stage of the process.
With its dual focus, this emotionally charged, thoroughly absorbing film charts obstacles faced by the Switzers and presents intimate insights into Aasia’s circumstances and motivation. As their stories become increasingly intertwined, the bigger picture behind offshore outsourcing of pregnancies—a booming, unregulated reproductive industry valued at $450 million in India alone—begins to emerge. So do revealing questions about international surrogacy’s legal and ethical implications, global corporate practices, human and reproductive rights, and commodification of the body.
The Other Side of Surrogacy: An Interview with Jessica Kern, “A Product of Surrogacy”
Jessica Kern describes herself as a product of surrogacy. Born via a commercial surrogacy arrangement, she is a first-person activist and writer giving a voice to those have been brought into the world through third-party reproduction techniques, and to give people who are considering starting a family through such methods an ability to see what would otherwise be unforeseeable issues that can arise.
ABF Talks: Surrogatmödraskap – En historia om kvinnoförtryck, makt och kolonialism
Surrogatmödraskap ingår i en lång tradition av utnyttjande och handel med kvinnor och deras barn där kvinnoförtryck och maktordningar mellan länder historiskt exploaterat främst utsatta kvinnor. Vi diskuterar surrogatmödraskap ur feministiska, koloniala och klassmässiga perspektiv.
The second item in this episode from VICE on HBO exposes India’s surrogacy enterprise. (Begins at 0:17 in the video above)