Transnational surrogacy, biocitizenship, and statelessness
India’s response to the ‘ghosts of the republic’
in Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship
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Transnational commercial surrogacy involves women in the host countries acting as surrogates for foreign homosexual/heterosexual couples or single persons who aspire to parenthood but are unable or unwilling to bear children themselves. Different legal regimes across various cultures and countries recognise different actors in surrogacy as the bearer of citizenship rights; citizenship can thus be transferred to the newborn through the birth mother, the genetic mother, the genetic father, or the adoptive parents. However, this variance and diversity in laws governing nationality and citizenship attribution in surrogacy can lead to statelessness. This chapter addresses the problematic of ‘citizenship’ in the context of transnational surrogate births by probing how doctrines of moral and political legitimacy determine the ascriptive value and legality of these ‘biocitizens’ through the context of the Indian experience of transnational commercial surrogacy.

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