Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Jessica Penwell Barnett, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); LaFleur Small, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Shreya Surendramal Bhandari, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Transnational commercial surrogacy brought billions of dollars from the United States to the Indian economy. During this time, beginning in 2002, this practice was and continues to be scrutinized by scholars from various academic fields. In this study the researcher analyzes how the emergence of transnational commercial surrogacy in India was portrayed in US media through multiple outlets including newswires, magazines, transcripts, and web publications. In this qualitative study, the researcher performed purposive sampling to locate articles within the Nexis Uni database between the dates of January 1, 2006 and January 1, 2015. Using flexible coding, and qualitative content analysis the researcher coded thirty news items. Four themes emerged including: law, money made in a certain period of time (with subthemes of globalization and exploitation), surrogate health, and intended parents desperation for children. Additionally, the researcher contextualizes transnational commercial surrogacy within Postcolonial Feminist critiques—specifically those arguing that the practice retrenches colonial thinking and practices. This study recommends that, should transnational commercial surrogacy become legal again in India, Indian lawmakers ensure surrogates ensure surrogates health and personal freedoms while performing this labor. Also, this study recommends that Indian surrogates are paid fees comparable to their Western counterparts.

Page Count


Department or Program

Applied Behavioral Science

Year Degree Awarded