Governing Parental Desires and Vulnerabilities:

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Abstract

In the early 2010s, transnational surrogacy was a hotly debated topic in Norway following Norwegian citizens’ repro-migration. One of the oft-repeated policy proposals in the debate was to criminalise transnational surrogacy in the same fashion as the purchase of sex. However, instead of introducing a prohibition, the Parliament, in 2013, voted in favour of an addition to the Biotechnology Act, clarifying that private individuals could not be punished for participating in surrogacy abroad. Of concern to me in this paper is how transnational surrogacy came to be handled in a manner that facilitated, rather than stopped, this type of repro-migration. I examine the legislative process that led to the current regulation of transnational surrogacy, with particular attention to the affective biopolitics of repro-migration. I find that reproductive vulnerability and desire circulated in the debate, which finally resulted in an exemption of the Norwegian repro-migrants from punishment.

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