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Contributed by Maria DiFrancesco on 03/02/2014
Women's Studies together with the Center for Faculty Excellence, Department of Psychology, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, and Department of Politics cordially invite the entire campus community to a talk tentatively entitled "Googling Baby (On Global Assisted Reproduction Services" given by Debra Castillo, Cornell University Professor of Comparative Literature. The event, which is also in celebration of Women's History Month, will take place on March 4th at 7 in Textor 101. Join us for a lively discussion on a timely subject.
"Surrogacy doesn't need a celebrity role model," says firstpost in response to the outpouring of support for Aamir Khan after his announcement in December 2011 that he and his wife, Kiran Rao, had been blessed with a baby boy thanks to this procedure. The author of this article continues with the observation that in countries like India and Guatemala--due to well-founded concerns about baby kidnapping and child trafficking--"it is now far easier to rent a womb than adopt a child." It is also far easier, albeit still highly controversial, for eager parents from the Global North with disposable income to place an order for a designer baby, mixing carefully a chosen donor egg and donor sperm, choosing for the child (or children's) sex. This is the phenomenon that documentary filmmaker Zippi Brand Frank captures with the memorable phrase "Google Baby."
What is it about outsourcing, particularly the public, international outsourcing of these very intimate, reproductive functions, that makes us squirm and raises questions in our minds? What happens when the project of family-making becomes distributed across multiple individuals and international borders?
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