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exploiting surrogates

"Reproductive tourism" is the practice of infertile people crossing international borders to receive technologically advanced reproductive services. Indeed, the international fertility trade is now big business, with India having recently emerged as the likely world leader in providing services -- most controversially the hiring of surrogate mothers -- at comparatively low costs. In our recent paper we attempted to elucidate some of the factors that make the maternal surrogacy industry ethically troubling to many people. On one hand, it's hard not to celebrate a poor woman's opportunity to pull herself out of poverty by exercising her autonomy over her body. On the other hand, there's no denying that when the poor and illiterate enter into a commercial relationship with people of greater wealth and power, there's usually more than a soupcon of exploitation involved.