Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Outsourcing pregnancy

The Christian Science Monitor tells us that Childless couples look to India for surrogate mothers [hat tip Alex Tabarrok]

ANAND, INDIA - Eight months pregnant, Reshma is like any other expecting mother, except that the child she's carrying isn't her own.

When Reshma gives birth next month in this small Indian town, the newborn will be immediately handed over to its biological parents, non-resident Indians who live in London and who have been unable to bear a child on their own. In return for renting her womb, Reshma will be paid $2,800 - a significant sum by Indian standards.

"I have two cherubic children of my own," says Reshma, who withheld her real name for fear of disapproval by neighbors. "That couple has none. Imagine how much happiness this baby will give them."

........... money does seem to be a motivator.

"How else will us uneducated women earn this kind of money, without doing anything immoral?" asks one of the surrogate mothers at the Kaival Hospital.

Reshma's husband Vinod - not his real name - says his paltry $50 montly pay as a painter would not be enough to educate his two children. He says the extra money will allow him to invest in his children's education and to buy a new home. But surrogacy is yet to be widely accepted here. For the past six months, Reshma and Vinod have been living in a neighboring village to keep the pregnancy a secret.

"Otherwise, we'll be treated like social pariahs," he says. "This isn't a respectable thing to do in our society." Read it all

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