Gestational surrogacy is a process whereby a woman gestates a baby with whom she shares no genetic link for another person to raise.In Russia, women’s motivation for becoming a surrogate, in most cases, is clear: financial hardship and the opportunity to resolve it in a relatively short period of time, with few requirements besides good health and a child of one’s own, birthed vaginally.But how do women decide to become surrogacy workers?In this presentation I explore the cultural and contextual factors that inform women’s decisions to become surrogacy workers by looking at their central questions they must face within the context of Russia: Once I have carried it, will I be able to give the child away? How do I organize this process?I show that women who become surrogacy workers in Russia conclude that they are not giving a child away but back to the client parents. In order to do so, they establish their own working definition of what is moral and what it means to be morally prepared. The social organisation of commercial surrogacy in Russia often demands that the surrogacy workers temporarily migrate (either for the whole pregnancy or a few weeks prior to delivery to give birth where the client parents choose) or commute long distances. I describe how becoming a surrogacy worker demands thorough planning which involves, at a minimum, their immediate family, and how the women meet the challenges of surrogacy with skill and wits, while simultaneously challenging men’s normative role as family breadwinner.

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