Sociology of Health and Women

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 09:15
Oral Presentation
Penny DOWEDOFF, York University, Canada
A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis of the Representation of the Surrogate, Egg Provider and Intended Parent(s) on Canadian and International Medical Broker and Fertility Clinic Websites


Reproductive tourism is often referred to the demand side of the phenomenon—to those who travel outside their jurisdiction or home country to access the kinds of medically assisted reproduction they desire. In Canada, payments for gametes and surrogacy are illegal; however, the non-altruistic markets for these services and gametes clearly exist in other countries under a variety of regulatory frameworks. Intended parents may search the internet for medical brokers who can connect them to a fertility clinic abroad or contact the fertility clinic directly through a website. Whether it is the intended parent, fertility specialist, medical broker, the surrogate, egg provider, and the health and non-health personnel that are separated thousands of miles are now thrust into close transactional relationships. Using a feminist critical discourse analysis, this paper explores how the intended parent, the surrogate and egg provider and the labour and care they preform are virtually represented on Canadian and International medical broker and fertility clinic websites. Many medical broker and fertility clinic websites project an imagery that provides an authentic identity of place, but at the same time, commodizes it for tourist consumption reflecting desirable experiences.