Surrogate Motherhood: Would You Buy A Baby in India?

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Several years ago, I did a series on surrogate motherhood. What I remember most about that story were two things: the agony of the infertile California couple who wanted a child, and the young Christian mother who believed that God meant her to help them. She didn’t need the money, though it was nice.

As a feminist I was secretly aghast by the whole thing. It seemed like a scenario straight out of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” But that’s partly what intrigued me. How could you rent another woman’s womb? How could a mother take money to carry a baby for someone else? A baby she’d give up any rights to? Was she being exploited? Or was it truly her choice? I wanted to understand it. The ethical and legal issues, just being hashed out in society and the courts, were profound.

They still are. I thought about that young surrogate mother when I read about India’s booming surrogacy business in the New York Times
--an industry that generates an estimated $450 million a year. It seemed a natural time to revisit the issue and the passions it stirs. Sharon B. Urfberg at Women’s Media Center takes a hard look at surrogacy in India through a recent award-winning documentary.

She writes:

In “Made in India,” the filmmakers expose the deliberately misleading and inaccurate information that men and women involved in the reproductive outsourcing business on both sides of the world provide their clients. They uncover deceitful practices especially around issues concerning fees and compensation.

Oh, that young surrogate mother? A few months after she had the baby, I interviewed her. She cried when she spoke of him. So much for business.

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Credit Image: © Donatella Giagnori/Eidon/ZUMApress.com/

Read more from "Made in India": Outsourcing Surrogate Motherhood at Women's Media Center

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