India is emerging as a leader in international surrogacy. Indian surrogates are becoming increasingly popular with couples from all over the world because surrogacy in India is much simpler as well as less costly. Few particular reasons are low cost surrogacy assistance, detachment of Indian females from drug and alcohol activities.
Also, Indian IVF Clinics are becoming more competitive in low cost surrogacy assistance and hiring of Indian females as surrogates. Gestational surrogacy is very popular choice of infertile couples from abroad. A number of couples fly to India to get a baby of their own genes.
In India surrogacy was legalized in 2002, considering that it would be helpful for those women who are naturally not in a position to become a mother. At the same time, this practice helps those families with lack of financial stability and those families which are having the problem of lack of peace due to absence of child. Women in India, generally, become surrogates with dual aim, to assist the infertile couple and also to assist her family and children. Such women dream to give proper education to their children.
However, even after 12 years since the surrogacy was legalized, surrogate mothers face certain levels of social stigma and ostracism. As a practice surrogacy involves the bodies of poor women, which in India’s socially conservative culture, is cause enough for derision.
Butthe point is what the ethical issues are as to commercial surrogacy. Many argue that surrogate arrangements depersonalize reproduction and create a separation of genetic, gestational, and social parenthood. Others argue that there is a change in motives for creating children. According to them children are not conceived for their own sakes, but for another’s benefit.
Surrogates in India are bound around certain limitations. Few of those are no woman may act as a surrogate more than thrice in her lifetime, she and her husband has had no extramarital relationship in the last six months to ensure that the person would not come up with symptoms of HIV infection during the period of surrogacy, no drug abuse, and not undergo blood transfusion excepting of blood obtained through a certified blood bank.
Thus, commercial surrogacy continues to be highly stigmatized in India. Surrogates are spending the term of their pregnancy in surrogate homes in India and try to keep it a secret because reproduction is regarded as acceptable only within marriage; taken outside the domestic sphere of family, childbearing for economic achievement may be seen as ‘dirty work,’ ‘baby-selling’ or ‘womb-renting.’
People should know that the right to reproduce is a fundamental human right and surrogacy helps to conquer both biological and social infertility. It provides medically infertile couples to have a child of their own. Legalization of gestational surrogacy aims to protect the surrogate’s interests as well as those of the intended parents and the baby born after the surrogacy.
Dr Neeraj Pahlajani