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Amrita Pande
Since its legalization in 2002, commercial surrogacy in India has grown into a multimillion-dollar industry, drawing couples from around the world.  IVF procedures in the unregulated Indian clinics generally cost a fraction of what they would in Europe or the U.S., with surrogacy as little as one-tenth the price.  Mainstream press reports in English-language publications occasionally devote a line or two to the ethical implications of using poor women as surrogates, but with few exceptions, these women's voices have not been heard.

Sociologist Amrita Pande of the University of Cape Town set out to speak directly with the “workers” to see how they are affected by such “work.” In her multi-year project, Pande has expanded the cultural perspective on international reproductive tourism, delineated its “structural reality, with real actors and real consequences,” and provided an intimate look at the lot of women serving as commercial surrogates at Hope Maternity Clinic in Anand, a thriving city in India’s westernmost state, Gujarat.

By 2006, Anand was gaining a reputation as a center for reproductive services, and Pande began conducting fieldwork at...