figurine with a void shape of a child and family of parents with a child. Surrogacy concept.

Forced Gifting: English Surrogacy, Gestational Labor, and the Inequality of Choice

By Lucas Taylor

Surrogacy, the practice in which one party (the surrogate) gestates a fetus on behalf of another pair/person (the intended parent/s or IPs), has sparked academic debates regarding gender equality and bodily integrity in the face of both commercial and altruistic agreements. I re-engage with this topic by challenging how the capacity of the surrogate to choose may be restricted under English and Welsh law. This post does not seek to argue against the practice of altruistic surrogacy. Instead, it seeks to highlight, through the lens of Social Reproduction Theory, that central to the legal framework is a highly gendered devaluation of labor which undermines the potential for surrogates to fully exercise choice in relation to their gestational labor.

Read More