Medical conceptions of control in the field of commercial surrogacy in Kazakhstan

Journal title SALUTE E SOCIETÀ
Author/s Alya Guseva, Vyacheslav Lokshin
Publishing Year 2019 Issue 2019/1
Language English Pages 18 P. 26-43 File size 174 KB
DOI 10.3280/SES2019-001003
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Taking markets-as-fields perspective (Fligstein, 1996), we discuss and examine the central role that the fertility professionals in Kazakhstan played in establishing medical conceptions of control - understandings of the fundamental guiding principles of exchange in a given field - over the ethically fraught surrogacy practice. Only gestational surrogacy is legal in Kazakhstan, and it is only available to officially married couples, whose inability to have children fits with one of the five medical diagnoses, with no other limitations based on age or their country of origin. Therefore, surrogacy is defined as medical help to those in medical need, rather than a commercial service. Moreover, to further ascertain themselves as carrying and uncorrupted professionals, Kazakh doctors restrict their responsibility to the medical side of surrogacy (testing and IVF) and distance themselves from both the commerce of surrogacy, and from entanglement in the management of relationships - and, therefore, potential conflicts - between surrogate mothers and intended parents. These tasks are usually outsourced to specialized surrogacy agencies - the middlemen that buffer medical professionals from the "messiness" of relationships and symbolic contamination by the market.

Keywords: Gestational surrogacy; Kazakhstan; market-as-fields; conceptions of control; medical profession; commerce

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Alya Guseva, Vyacheslav Lokshin, Medical conceptions of control in the field of commercial surrogacy in Kazakhstan in "SALUTE E SOCIETÀ" 1/2019, pp 26-43, DOI: 10.3280/SES2019-001003