Commodification of the Reproductive Donor: Part 2 (The Matching Process)

Matching babies

I ended the previous article in my Commodification of the Reproductive Donor series discussing the “donor profile” and the donor catalog.  In this second part of the series I show how egg donors are commodified through the matching process with prospective parents; specifically, how these processes advertise and treat reproductive donors as objects or products. … Continue reading

Cords that bind: Umbilical transplantation and transnationalism

Zanele and her mother

Sarah Ping Nie Jones’s new film Umbilical Cords explores the fraught transnational relationships between six women–three mother-daughter pairs. They criss-cross all over the globe, but their stories all intersect in South Africa. The title alludes to the cord that biologically links us to our mothers, but also more broadly asks how we intertwine inextricably, how we … Continue reading

Rawr! The fierce hustle to have dragon babies

Source: Flickr, Kenny Louie

How much of a role do the market and the business side of fertility clinics play in the demand for babies?  And how does this market role affect egg donors and surrogate mothers?  Just this year, the fertility industry saw an upsurge in demand that it had never seen before, owing to the phenomenon of … Continue reading

Commodification of the Reproductive Donor: Part 1 (The Recruitment)

Designer babies made to order?  Source: Mark Sebastian, Flickr

Donors are subject to commodification.  What I mean is that donors, due to the bureaucratic market processes surrounding donation, can be alienated from their own bodies.  Alienation can come in many forms, in this case I am using alienation to mean separated or distanced from the body.  By separating the donor into parts, the “sellable” … Continue reading

News Roundup #3: Reproductive tourism, beating heart transplants, lower leukemia survival rates for minorities

Surrogacy and reproductive tourism Check out this fascinating and extraordinarily well-researched article on Slate about reproductive tourism by Douglas Pet from the Center for Genetics and Society.  This piece was a year in the making, and the investigative work done is impressive. Highly recommended for anyone who is also interested in commodification of the body, … Continue reading

Hide and Seek: The Attempt to Find Asian Egg Donors

Photo by Esther Gibbons, Flickr

In November 2006 the Washington Post published an article on the relative lack of Asian egg donors to the demand of recipients.  The article follows Regina and Dennis Joyner, a couple who eventually gave up looking for an Asian egg donor after an 18 month grueling search.  Another couple found success using donated eggs and a … Continue reading

The sexiest calendar for 2012

marrow donation crop

Imagery is a powerful way to educate potential donors and express complex concepts in accessible ways. The imagery we choose to create and employ often has the consequence of creating static visual analogies of sometimes dynamic processes. It creates a specific representation of a particular concept and also creates its own meaning for that concept … Continue reading

Uterus Transplants: A New Field of Fertility Techonologies

Image courtesy of nodeju.com

In Turkey, on August 9, 2011 a woman named Derya Sert, became the first recipient of a successful uterus transplant.  Though two previous attempts have been made, both organs were rejected.  Yet Derya Sert, after only two and a half months, is menstruating with her new uterus, and is looking forward to having a baby … Continue reading

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