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What price on pregnancy?

India has become a mecca for couples desperate for children. So much so that surrogacy is a $2.4billion industry, producing an estimated 25,000 babies a year. Thousands of foreign couples come to India each year to ‘hire’ Indian women to bear their children.

There is no doubt that it is truly wonderful that otherwise childless couples have the opportunity to become parents through surrogacy. However, there is certainly a less joyous side to the story.

The Indian surrogates, Women’s Groups argue, are exploited in this ‘rent a womb’ industry. They are not paid well for their sacrifice, and their health is at risk. They are required to sign contracts which exempt doctors and foreign couples (clients) from liability, leaving the surrogate mother responsible for medical, financial and psychological risks.

In addition, the contracts provide that if the mother is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease late in pregnancy, she is to be ”sustained with life-support equipment to protect the foetus’ viability and ensure a healthy birth on the genetic parents’ behalf”.

Women’s groups are calling for a ban on the Indian surrogacy industry.

What do you think?  Is it right to reduce babies to a commodity?

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4 comments so far -

  1. This is certainly a controversial topic – I think couples get so desperate to have a baby that really any price is worth it. But this practice where little concern is given to the surrogate surely needs to be changed asap.

        • I don’t think this is ‘wrong’ full-stop. Sometimes the desire to have something can outweigh all else. The surrogate also isn’t forced into this – they are paid for a service and as harsh as that sounds that is the reality. The surrogates have to sign the agreement, meaning they also know the risks. I guess the sad side of it is that maybe this is the only option for these women to make a living. I don’t judge those who go down this path though….. I would look into this if infertility was an issue.

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