Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Access

Restricted Project/Capstone - USF access only

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies (MAPS)


College of Arts and Sciences


Asia Pacific Studies

First Advisor

Brian Komei Dempster


The surrogacy industry has faced controversies and ethical concerns, especially in developing countries where surrogacy agencies exploit vulnerable and marginalized women. This project focuses on two critical issues that prove that commercial surrogacy is exploitative and should be outlawed entirely in China: it exacerbates discriminatory practices and increases prejudice against women. The research evaluates the implications of commercial surrogacy, which disempowers and abuses women, and its connection to human trafficking. Since most governments fail to institute regulatory policies, the destructive cycle of commercial surrogacy continues with no accountability for those responsible. Moreover, this practice amplifies gender inequalities and violates women’s rights, especially of those from rural and marginalized regions, because they are often illiterate. As a result, severe legal implications ensue. I utilize various scholarly reports and articles, newspaper articles, and research studies to back my claims. Employing a case study research design, the paper analyzes the implications of commercial surrogacy in China. At the same time, this research is driven by an analysis of primary accounts from women who have participated in the industry; these interviews and empirical research studies allow us to observe and measure the human impact of this phenomenon and derive first- hand knowledge from the actual victims. In a broader sense, this study helps us examine the more significant issue of gender discrimination and how commercial surrogacy revolves around and is connected to a complex web of social issues in the Asia Pacific.

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