On Tuesday 3 March, Siggie Vertommen will give a talk at the Wellcome Collection in London on “The invisible wombs of the market: Surrogacy through the lens of reproductive labour”
Gestational surrogacy has transformed over the past two decades from a small-scale reproductive practice into a booming 30 billion dollar ‘baby business’. Women, overwhelmingly from the Global South and East are increasingly recruited as egg cell providers or surrogates to provide the ‘gift of life’ to intended parents.
This seminar looks at women’s participation in these ‘global fertility chains’ from a reproductive labour perspective. Drawing on archival material and ephemera from Wellcome Collection’s library, such as promotional material from the Fertility Show and children’s books on third party reproduction, we will explore the porous boundaries between gift-commodity, motherhood-work, altruism-profit in the fertility industry.