The UN warned in 2018 that ‘commercial surrogacy… usually amounts to the sale of children’. While surrogacy is not a new phenomenon, technological advances such as IVF, softening of cultural attitudes, and the trend for having children later have fuelled a recent boom in surrogacy. And surrogacy’s soaring popularity has come at a very human cost, with stories of potential mistreatment hitting the headlines several times in recent years. On top of child welfare concerns, there are also examples of surrogate mothers being exploited by agents and kept in inhumane conditions. While the exploitation concerns have led to many countries shutting down their previously booming surrogacy industries, new markets have sprung up because of the inconsistency of laws around the world. Is there ever a ‘good’ type of surrogacy? And is there a way to regulate the practice effectively?
Kajsa Ekis Ekman is a Swedish journalist, writer and activist. She is the author of several works about the financial crisis, women’s rights, and capitalism critique including Being and Being Bought and Debt as a Weapon: The euro crisis seen from Athens. She writes for the culture section of the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, and is an op-ed columnist at the left-wing daily ETC. She also writes for The Guardian, TruthDig, and Feminist Current. Kajsa campaigns against surrogacy and prostitution. She has founded the network, Feminists Against Surrogacy and the climate action group, Klimax.