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    Harvesting life, mining death: adoption, surrogacy and forensics across borders

    Posocco, Silvia (2022) Harvesting life, mining death: adoption, surrogacy and forensics across borders. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 8 (1), pp. 1-19. ISSN 2380-3312.

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    Transnational adoption and surrogacy make explicit the relations between war, structural violence and crisis, and global shifts in the organisation and governance of reproduction. This article focuses on the interrelatedness of vitality and death, living and dying, and the nexus between biopolitics and necropolitics, as they are foregrounded through an analysis of adoption and surrogacy. It re-inscribes the transnational movement, circulation and exchange of persons, substance and bodily capacities within the logics of multiple genealogies of war, violence, and extraction manifested in the globalised borderlands between Guatemala and Mexico. First, the article charts the simultaneous demise of transnational adoptions in Guatemala and growth in surrogacy arrangements in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco, as well as the inception of the practice of oocyte harvesting for IVF in newly established reproductive medicine providers in Guatemala City. Second, the article tracks forms of expertise and technical infrastructure across national borders and across domains of knowledge and practice. It shows the proximity between reproductive medicine and forensic science evident in DNA analysis used in forensic anthropology to document human rights violations and resolve cases of forced disappearance, but also offered by the same forensic laboratories as commercial services in the context of an expanding reproductive medicine sector. This new configuration of biolabour encompasses the extractive practices tied to reproductive medicine and forensics. It connects to the production and uneven distribution of liveliness and deadliness, privilege and dispossession, accumulation and alienation, as persons, bodily substance, and, increasingly, bioinformation transverse contexts, jurisdictions and social and racial formations.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): adoption, surrogacy, forensics, borders, biolabour, biopolitics, necropolitics
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Silvia Posocco
    Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2021 10:52
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:11


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