"Hypothetically, it is my child": A narrative inquiry examining power, agency and identity in the lived experiences of Indian surrogate mothers

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Primary Supervisor
Boddy, Jennifer
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O'Regan, Patrick
Reid, Katherine A
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2024-03-07
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Abstract

Surrogacy, a globally researched topic, often side lines the voices of surrogate mothers, primarily from developing countries and is often viewed through a Western lens. Grounded in social constructionism, this study delved into Indian surrogate mothers' experiences via narrative inquiry. 24 surrogate mothers in the state of Karnataka, India, were selected through purposive sampling, to capture a varied range of narratives, allowing the participants to express their distinctive experiences of surrogacy. Using Fraser's seven phases of narrative inquiry, the findings unveiled the complexities and nuances of these experiences for the surrogates. It further highlighted their sense of agency and empowerment while acknowledging the struggles (such as experiences of obstetric violence) within the socio-cultural and political context domestically. It also questioned the overarching systemic issues created by the fertility industry and what it implied for developing countries offering fertility services. This research contributes to the existing literature on surrogacy and offers insights that will inform policy and practice to safeguard the rights and wellbeing of Indian surrogate mothers. It emphasises the need for hearing and acknowledging surrogate mothers' voices in shaping future policies and ethical frameworks surrounding surrogacy.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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School of Health Sci & Soc Wrk
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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.
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Subject
Indian surrogacy
assisted reproductive technology
surrogate mothers
narrative inquiry
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