India is being acclaimed as the leader in outsourcing from all over the world. But now it is earning the dubious distinction of being the center for outsourcing pregnancy!
For a certain fee, women at Akanksha clinic, run by infertility expert Dr Nayna Patel at Anand in Gujarat, are willing to carry a foreign couple’s baby for nine months. The surrogate mother after giving birth to the baby, hands it over to the parents.
Why are couples from all over the world coming here? Because western countries like Britain do not allow payments for surrogacy.
In India, laws on surrogacy are non-existent. So doctors like Dr. Patel have turned surrogacy into a full fledged business. The surrogate mothers are herded together like cattle into a few rooms. For the surrogate mothers, the money paid by foreign couples seems like a fortune. For the couples such a similar service in their own country would cost a fortune, probably beyond their reach.
Though Dr. Patel claims that she is making everybody happy, this kind of attitude reeks of pure exploitation. Also questions like what if the surrogate mother develops emotions for the offspring have not been appreciated. Will the baby be taken away forcibly from her just because she had signed an agreement nine months ago? Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch should look into the matter.
In Britain the surrogate mother has the first claim on the baby. That’s humanity. At the Akanksha clinic what is going on is nothing but degrading exploitation of poor Indian women. It is high time that the Indian government woke up to this development and frame rules regarding surrogacy. Surrogate mothers surely at least deserve that.
Also such regulations will ensure better returns for them. At present surrogacy charges are decided after bargaining, with most poor Indian women agreeing at an abysmally low price. This is a new form of western colonialism, nothing else.
Image: Daily mail