The project examined how surrogacy is framed in Nordic politics, and how Nordic citizens have practiced surrogacy both domestically and across borders. The first study was a comparative policy analysis of Finnish and Norwegian parliamentary debates on surrogacy and assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Finland’s policy on domestic surrogacy has developed from permissive (discourses of medicalization, equality and altruism) towards more restrictive (discourses of risks concerning cross-border surrogacy). Norway’s policy on surrogacy has been continuously restrictive, representing surrogacy as a transnational social problem through discourses on surrogacy as exploitation of women and children, and discourses on biocentrism.
The second study comparatively analysed intersections between biopolitics and religion in Finnish and Norwegian parliamentary debates on ART, surrogacy and biotechnology. In both countries, references to religion have been prevalent in policy processes and parliamentary debates on these issues, with Christian Democrats actively promoting bioethics. Results suggest that reproductive politics has contributed to politicisation of religion in the Finnish and Norwegian parliaments, identifying blurred boundaries between public and private spheres and a discursive framework of debates on values.
In the third study, sixteen interviews were conducted with six Finnish surrogate mothers and twelve Finnish intended parents. Surrogacy has been practiced on a small scale in Finland. In addition to research information distributed through non governmental organisations, snowball sampling was used to find respondents. By analysing new kinship relations in unpaid “altruistic” surrogacy arrangements in Finland, the interview study with Finnish surrogates and parents provides a new focus to surrogacy research in the Nordic countries and internationally as it goes beyond the previous research focus on commercial surrogacy and cross-border reproductive care.
The postdoctoral research on surrogacy in the Nordic countries was funded by the Academy of Finland, the Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation and Jubileumsfonden vid Åbo Akademi (2014–2019).
The comparative NORSUR project examined how surrogacy and assisted reproductive technologies are framed in Nordic politics, and how Nordic citizens have practiced surrogacy both domestically in Finland and Norway and across borders. The project also analysed religious arguments about surrogacy, assisted reproduction and biotechnology in the parliaments of Finland and Norway. Finland’s policy on domestic surrogacy has developed from permissive (discourses of medicalization, equality and altruism) towards more restrictive (discourses of risks). Norway’s policy on surrogacy has been continuously restrictive, representing surrogacy as a transnational social problem. The research also included interviews with Finnish surrogate mothers and intended parents. Surrogacy was practiced on a small scale in Finland when it was unregulated. Most surrogacy arrangements practiced in Finnish healthcare 1991-2007 were based on close relationships. Surrogates were sisters, mothers, relatives, colleagues or friends of the intended parents, contributing to new kinship relations.
|Short title||Nordic Surrogates|
|Effective start/end date||01/01/15 → 31/12/18|
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):