Corporate Surrogacy
In the latter half of the Information Age and even well into the early Interplanetary Age, genetic engineering corporations had a problem: they had to find mothers to carry the genetically altered children they produced. Popular vids from the time tell story after story of young women from Asia (Particularly Cambodia and Thailand) being sold into corporate slavery as surrogate mothers for the gengineered children arranged by major corporations, though this practice was simply not as prevalent as popular imagination supposed.

By the time that genetic engineering became widespread and the number of genetically engineered fetuses began to climb the exowomb (a fluid filled cylinder that mimicked a womb and could support a fetus to term) had been developed. In theory this allowed any corporation or government to birth children into the world without the need for a surrogate. However, the exowombs were still very expensive, and many corporations based in Asia, Africa, and even in space during the early Interplanetary Era could not afford them. Instead, they recruited surrogates from the native population, usually with cash payments but sometimes by force or threats to the surrogate's family. These "corporate surrogates" sometimes died in childbirth and this created a collection of well publicized scandals in the developed world. The Europeans and their genetic corporations were particularly scathing in their attacks on corporate surrogacy. Eventually, with mass production of exowombs their price fell. Once exowombs became cheaper than other surrogates, the practice of corporate surrogacy was all but wiped out by 190 AT.
 
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Development Notes
Text by Elliot Schutjer

Initially published on 25 July 2005.