Notes on the Desire for ‘Biological’ Progeny in Capitalism

26.05.2011 § Leave a comment

In the last five years, would-be parents from as far as Istanbul and Uruguay have turned to healthy young mothers from Illinois to carry their children.

The babies are born U.S. citizens, surrogacy agency officials say, but that’s not a primary motivation for the parents, who typically come from European and Latin American countries where surrogacy is illegal or unavailable. The parents have exhausted other options and are willing to pay about $50,000 to $100,000 — part of which goes to the surrogate — to have biological children.

– Chicago Tribune

Diyamn, The Nothing wonders what the rate of exploitation is on that one. What’s the surrogate making, 20%? And who is doing the exploiting in this one? Oh: Family Source Consultants LLC.

A testimonial from the site:

Zara from Family Source Consultants gave me hope when I had none left. That hope and encouragement kept me going and if I didn’t have that, I wouldn’t have been able to pick up the pieces and move forward. And because I did, thanks to Zara, I’m now expecting the greatest gift I’ve ever been given – a baby girl. I didn’t know what to expect and I was so vulnerable at times, but whenever a situation would come up, Zara handled it with professionalism combined kindness and her warm personality, which always put my mind at ease.

Abby – Intended Mother via Gestational Surrogacy

On desire in capitalism….

That is the difference between desire and drive: desire is grounded in its constitutive lack, while drive circulates around a hole, a gap in the order of being….At the immediate level of addressing individuals, capitalism, of course, interpellates them as consumers, as subjects of desire, soliciting in them ever new perverse and excessive desires (for which it offers products to satisfy them); furthermore, it obviously also manipulates the “desire to desire,” celebrating the very desire to desire ever new objects and modes of pleasure. However, even if it already manipulates desire in away which takes into account the fact that the most elementary desire is the desire to reproduce itself as desire (and not to find satisfaction), at this level, we have not yet reached drive. Drive inheres to capitalism at a more fundamental, systemic, level: drive is that which propels the whole capitalist machinery, it is the impersonal compulsion to engage in the endless circular movement of expanded self-reproduction.

Zizek, The Parralax View, p. 61

The baby is like this ultimate desire which reproduces itself as desire.

Also, incredible but predictable, it seems the surrogates are expected to act as if they are doing this out of the goodness of their own hearts, rather than for the cashmoney, some excerpts of testimonials of surrogates:

I am a married mother of 4 girls who, even though every blessed, still felt something was missing in my life.  I had a dream about having a baby, but it wasn’t mine, rather it was for a couple who couldn’t have one themselves.  Seeing them hold the baby and looking so overwhelmingly happy made me feel so blessed, beyond what words could ever say.

— Chrissy

My experience with this agency has been nothing less than a blessing in matching me with a wonderful family to help.  I started off by hearing an ad on the radio about these women who were going to be egg donors and surrogates.  I am a single mother with three boys of my own and when I heard about this on the radio I thought to myself, what a wonderful way to help a family who is really looking to have a child when my family is blessed with so many children.  How could I turn down this opportunity or at least try to help?

— Dawn


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