booksvscigarettes – Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family

21 Sep 19
Colin Darke

Where pregnancy is concerned, let every pregnancy be for everyone. Let us overthrow, in short, the “family”.

Join us on Saturday 21 September from 2pm to 4pm for this session of CCA’s reading group, booksvscigarettes. We will be reading from Sophie Lewis’ 2019 book Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family.

The surrogacy industry is estimated to be worth over $1 billion a year, and many of its surrogates around the world work in terrible conditions—deception, wage-stealing and money skimming are rife; adequate medical care is horrifyingly absent; and informed consent is depressingly rare. In Full Surrogacy Now, Sophie Lewis brings a fresh and unique perspective to the topic. Often, we think of surrogacy as the problem, but, Full Surrogacy Now argues, we need more surrogacy, not less!

Rather than looking at surrogacy through a legal lens, Lewis argues that the needs and protection of surrogates should be put front and centre. Their relationship to the babies they gestate must be rethought, as part of a move to recognise that reproduction is productive work. Only then can we begin to break down our assumptions that children “belong” to those whose genetics they share. Taking collective responsibility for children would radically transform our notions of kinship, helping us to see that it always takes a village to make a baby.

This session of booksvscigarettes takes place as part of the series of events, Harvest of Distress, that will occur during the exhibition Haerfest. Harvest of Distress will investigate ideas around alternative modalities of sex, sexuality, family and kinship.

You can email CCA for a copy at if you’d like to read in advance but there’s no need to prepare before – just turn up and we’ll read together.

This event is free and open to the public but please email to let us know you’re coming.

booksvscigarettes is CCA’s intermittent reading group. It takes its name from George Orwell’s essay which assessed the price and value of reading against other pursuits.