Saturday, 27 October 2012

India and Surrogate Mothers

A new trend in the West is, if you cannot conceive your own child, to use a surrogate mother in India. This process costs tens of thousands of dollars and frequently uses poor women who already have children so they will not become attached to the Western baby. The money the Indian woman makes is more than she could make in many years of working on her own.

When it comes to surrogate mothers below the poverty line, is it exploitation or not?

Shabnum Nur Mohammed Sheikh's reasons for bearing another woman's child are straightforward: the 60 rupees (80p) her husband earns from his food stall each day buys dinner but little else.

Shabnum's first surrogate pregnancy got her out of a shared shack in a slum and into a small flat. Her second will pay for uniforms, books, bags and eventually, she hopes, university fees for her three young daughters.
"I hope my kids will work in computers or something like that," Shabnum, 26, said. "Then they will look after me when I'm old."

Pushpa Pandiya, 33, also left the slums after buying a small apartment with money earned from, in her case, two surrogate pregnancies. She too has a bright young daughter.

"Education is getting very costly but it is essential," she said, explaining that she was about to embark on her third pregnancy for some "very nice" foreigners.

Since 2002, when the practice was legalised,India has become a world centre of "surrogacy tourism".
A relative lack of red tape and prices that are a quarter of those in the US or Europe have brought thousands of childless couples to Indian clinics to be matched with women like Shabnum and Pushpa.

The Confederation of Indian Industry predicts the business will generate $2.3bn (£1.5bn) annually by 2012. A recent report by the Indian Law Commission described it as a "pot of gold".

Radical legislation is to be introduced to bring some order to this booming but almost unregulated sector.
One measure will make it compulsory for prospective parents to carry proof that any infant born to a surrogate mother will have automatic citizenship in their home countries in an attempt to avoid messy legal battles.

A second will stop clinics that perform the clinical procedures from sourcing, supplying and taking care of the surrogate mothers themselves.

"The IVF clinics' job is to do IVF. We want them away from the potential areas where corruption and malpractice take place," said Dr RS Sharma, secretary of the bill's drafting committee and deputy director general of the Indian Council for Medical Research.

The draft bill bans post-natal contact between a surrogate mother and the child she has borne.
"It is natural that when it is inside you for nine months you have some feelings. But from the beginning we are conditioned not to involve our emotions," Pushpa said. "When they take the child, those days are a bit tough. I know I have done a good thing in helping someone have a child and a happy life but I think about them a lot."

Shabnum, 26, said text messages and photos from the parents of the child to whom she had given birth made her very happy – until they tailed off.The bill makes any such contact a criminal offence punishable by fines or imprisonment of up to two years "or something appropriate like that".

Within a week Nikki and Bobby Bains from Ilford, Essex, will fly to Gujarat, in India, to pick up their second child from the Akshanka clinic in Anand.

Their first, Daisy, was born to a surrogate mother nearly two years ago after "a 13-year struggle".
"It's very difficult to find surrogates in the UK. There are lots of delays and surrogates are very rare. We had a couple of bad experiences too," said Bobby, 46. "So we ended up with 10 attempts, all in India. It has cost around £80,000 in medical fees.

"We call Daisy Little Miss India. We are Sikh, the surrogate was Muslim, the egg donor was Hindu. So she encapsulates the whole country.

"No one can say we are exploiting anyone. They get paid the equivalent of 10 or 15 years' salary. At least you know the money goes to a good cause."

Even if they are saying they are not exploiting,and rather these mothers don't consider it as exploitation,in a straight thinking,are some people really taking advantage of the poor for their own benefit by spending money? Whatever it may be,the only good thing is that both parties are well satisfied and there are no problems. Let it go on like that in the future too.


  1. Those who are unable to bear a child naturally sometimes feel really bad and sad they feel like dark all around but at that time Surrogate mother and Surrogacy can be a ray of hope for such couples. And not only India is booming industry for couples looking to adopt a child within the countries own territory, but it has become an international attraction for couples looking for a Surrogate mother and surrogacy from abroad. It's term which is used when a woman carries a pregnancy and gives birth to a baby for another woman. IVF clinic Delhi.

  2. There have also been voices raised on issues such as exploitation of poor and needy women, commercialization etc. but for a country where in a substantial part of the population is considered to be living in Below Poverty Line Standards with daily income being less than 2$, Surrogacy has helped many women in improving the standard of lives of themselves and their family.