Desperation engulfs surrogacy centers in India 0

Desperation engulfs surrogacy centers in India 0

India has just issued a ban on surrogacy, and notified all surrogacy centers not to accept any more contracts.

A doctor is examining a surrogate mother’s pregnancy.

`Boy or girl?`

This may be the last time Meena Macwan sees the child – she is a surrogate mother.

India is one of the few countries that commercializes the surrogacy industry, allowing women to pay for surrogate pregnancies.

Most of the women at the surrogacy center in Anand, a district town in the western Indian state of Gujarat, are carrying babies for foreign couples.

Inside the most famous clinic in Anand is still packed with people.

`Shocked and disappointed,` they said and left.

Rekha Patel, who lives in Epping, England, has a two-year-old daughter through surrogate motherhood in Anand.

`It was our last chance to have a real family, we took it, and there were thousands of other families as well. If this opportunity had been taken away, tragedy would have happened.

Desperation engulfs surrogacy centers in India

Rekha Patel with her husband and two-year-old daughter through surrogacy in India.

Thailand, a country once a major surrogacy center in the world, also issued a ban earlier this year.

India is a major surrogacy center because it is easy to find women willing to become pregnant and give birth, in addition, the healthcare here is good and the cost is cheap.

However, the Indian government believes that poor and illiterate women here are being exploited.

`It’s very sad, those people are so desperate, they are willing to rent their bodies for such things,` said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, director of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Meanwhile, Dr Nayna Patel, who runs the Akanksha medical facility in Anand, said that surrogate women are well taken care of.

`Surrogates pay about 25,000 USD. Of which, 10,000 USD is for the surrogate, the rest is for prenatal visits for 9 months, medical procedures and childbirth,` she said, emphasizing the government

All the surrogates that the reporter met in Anand confirmed this.

India does not have a surrogacy law, only guidelines issued by the ICMR stipulate that women cannot be a surrogate if they do not have children of their own, and can only give birth once.

The government’s new announcement banning surrogacy faced opposition, with opponents filing a petition with the Supreme Court of India.

Desperation engulfs surrogacy centers in India

Surrogate women receive centralized care at a place called a `surrogate house`.

`It is difficult to predict what the new draft law will stipulate, but most stakeholders believe that surrogacy services should only be applied to infertile Indian couples and there is no other way,` Dr. Swaminathan

Stakeholders include government ministries, doctors, and women’s rights organizations, and it is unclear whether the opinions of surrogate mothers have been polled.

`The government is doing something wrong. Are they going to come to our homes, ask us what problems we’re having, and feed us if we’re starving?`

Hong Hanh

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