Dr Sheela Suryanarayanan, Associate Professor, Centre for Women’s Studies spoke at the United Nations, 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, New York on 17th March 2023 at a panel titled ‘Raising awareness of women and girls on the growing sexual and reproductive exploitation’ This panel was organised by ICASM (International Coalition for the Abolition of Surrogate Motherhood), Paris, France.
Dr Sheela Suryanarayanan spoke about ‘the impact of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act 2021 in India’. The impact has been a slump in the surrogacy industry in India, a halt to transnational surrogacy that was thriving in India before the Act was passed. Intended couples have moved to other developing countries in South America and Africa following post-colonial patterns of global inequalities. She spoke about the exploitation and objectification of women’s bodies in the surrogacy industry that continues to be a global problem. Based on her study in 2009 in Gujarat and a follow-up study in 2019 of 45 surrogate mothers, she spoke about the economic, health and emotional impact of commercial surrogacy on surrogate mothers and their children in India. She announced a working research group in Asia that is liaising with researchers and activists, networking and sharing information on surrogacy and assisted reproductive technologies in the Asian region.