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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Heidi Gottfried


Surrogacy is – as a result of new reproductive technologies – one of many options to start a family. However, surrogacy is not typically categorized as work. The simplistic taxonomy of forms of surrogacy as either “commercial” or “altruistic” has led to the classification of surrogacy as either “work” in transnational contexts or as “labor of love” in the US. Even when surrogacy is recognized as work in the US – a rare event – altruistic aspects are highlighted while the laboring aspects are downplayed. This dissertation examines how US surrogates describe their journeys and which aspects of carrying babies for others they perceive as invisible bodily care work.

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