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The Downfall of Commercial Surrogacy in Mumbai: Disparities in Wealth and Education, and the Persistence of Traditional Gender Roles

Trahan, Claudia

The main objective of this research is to identify the public perceptions and attitudes toward commercial surrogacy in Mumbai, India, as well as the public sentiment regarding the Indian government’s decision to institute a ban on the practice. In identifying these perceptions and attitudes, this thesis seeks to achieve a greater understanding of the actual lived experiences of surrogate mothers in Mumbai, who may face severe stigmatization from their families and communities at large in consequence to their involvement in commercial surrogacy arrangements. Through a close examination of the existing literature on commercial surrogacy in India, and a thorough analysis of interviews conducted with doctors, other professionals working closely with surrogate mothers, legal experts, and members from the general public in Mumbai, this thesis presents a multitude of both positive and negative perceptions and attitudes toward the practice in Mumbai, which resonate to a degree with views found across India more generally. Based on the study’s findings, this thesis argues that the public perceptions and attitudes toward commercial surrogacy in Mumbai reveal large disparities in terms of education and wealth among the population, as well as the persistence of a patriarchal culture and traditional gender roles.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Ergas, Yasmine
Degree
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
August 26, 2020