SSHM Seminar June 25th with Sayani Mitra: ‘Reproductive Disruptions during Commercial Surrogacy: End of a beginning?’

We are delighted to announce a seminar by Sayani Mitra (University of Goettingen, Germany) on  ‘Reproductive Disruptions during Commercial Surrogacy: End of a beginning?’

When: Thursday 25 June, 2-4pm

Where: S.0.11 (Strand Building)

Sayani Mitra is a PhD. researcher at the Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Göttingen, Germany. She is working on the ethical impact of the practice of gestational surrogacy in India. Her research focuses on the reproductive disruptions that occur due to the failure of assisted reproductive technologie


This paper aims to discuss the various forms of reproductive disruptions causing pregnancy loss during gestational surrogacy and its impact upon the key actors. Not all In Vitro Fertilisations (IVFs) performed during a surrogacy arrangement results in success, as failures in the form of miscarriage, foetal reduction or still birth often brings an end to the much desired pregnancies. Therefore while complete miscarriages, chemical pregnancies and loss of foetal heartbeat during surrogacy leads to a pregnancy loss for the surrogate mother and the intended parents, events of foetal reductions (wherein triplets or twins are reduced to twins or singletons) also makes the surrogate mother and occasionally the intended parents undergo an experience of loss of similar kind. Based on an ethnography conducted in fertility clinics of Delhi and Kolkata (India), I would like to argue that such events of disruptions to the surrogate pregnancy puts an end to the hopes and imaginations surrounding a newly conceived foetal entity. Further any form of miscarriage being highly stigmatised and foetal reductions being assigned to the best interest of the surviving foetus/es or the intended parents, the rights of the surrogates to medical care or counselling are left unrecognised. By exploring the experiences of loss and the narratives of disruptions surrounding such events, this paper would attempt to underline how absolute belief in the supremacy of medical technology and medical professionals enables the actors in surrogacy to envisage high hopes of success; to the extent that they fail to anticipate or accommodate any aberrations.

All are welcome to attend!

This entry was posted in Anthropology, Religion & Bioethics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to SSHM Seminar June 25th with Sayani Mitra: ‘Reproductive Disruptions during Commercial Surrogacy: End of a beginning?’

  1. This is intriguing! Are KCL alumni students able to attend?!

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