The word Surrogate has derived its origin from the Latin word ‘Surrogatus’ which stands for substitution or replacement. Surrogacy is a process widely used for convenient assisted pregnancy. Generally another woman is hired to carry the pregnancy for another woman and gives birth to the baby. Because many couples are interested in having their own baby and also because adoption is a lengthy and complicated process, surrogacy has gained popularity. The woman who acts as the carrier is known as surrogate mother.
There are two types of Surrogacy which are:
- Natural or traditional surrogacy
- Gestational or IVF surrogacy
In Natural or traditional surrogacy, the sperms of the male partner of an infertile couple natural inseminated in the surrogate mother’s womb. In this process the surrogate mother is genetically linked with the child and this is the reason why many couples dislike it. But in IVF surrogacy, the pregnancy is created by the sperms and eggs derived from the couple and only the womb of the surrogate are used to continue the pregnancy.
Of late India has become a popular hub for finding surrogacy owing to the reasonable surrogacy cost. In the year 2002, according to the recognitions of the Supreme Court, surrogacy became legal in the country and soon it became the most popular destination for outsourcing International surrogacy demands. To avoid any litigation or confusion about the citizenship status of the newborn, the Supreme Court of India gave a verdict that the infant will be awarded the nationality of its surrogate mother.
The medical tourism networks operating all over the country deploys strict criteria while choosing the potential surrogate mothers in India. Ideally the surrogates should be within the age of 21 to 35 and they are generally married and have a history of having healthy babies. Detailed background check is run on the candidate’s family history, surgical and physical history as well as personal history. The candidate and her partner are checked for AIDS and any other sexually transmittable, contagious or genetic diseases.
Actual Facts about Surrogacy in India: Average cost of surrogacy is around $10,000-30,000 which includes the remuneration of the surrogate mothers, ivf cost in India, foods and consumables, legal and doctors’ fees, delivery cost and antenatal care. For International medical tourists the cost seems extremely reasonable which instigates more number of couples to seek such treatments in this country. However, the actual womb donors are often deprived of their rightful compensation. Most of the middlemen, medical centers and lawyers eat up the largest portion of money accepted from the clients.
Women from poor and deprived class often consider surrogacy as an opportune way to earn money for their living. However they are unaware of the fact that despite they are the ones sacrificing their health and risking their lives, the benefits are being taken by someone else. Hence the popularity of Indian surrogacy is no way helping the economy of this country. The poverty-stricken women continue to live a life of misery and dispossession.
What can be done: Some more intervention from the government can certainly improve the condition in favor of the surrogate mothers and their family. They should be awarded with more benefits than the meager remuneration on offer. Also the laws must be strict enough to limit the number of surrogacy ventures one can indulge into. Too many pregnancies might prove fatal to both the mother and the fetus’s health.
It is projected that India will remain to be one of the most eminent surrogacy destinations but the effects of such outsourcing on overall Indian economy should be improved significantly.
This may be seen differently by different people but the positioning of a surrogacy hub tells that people here are still far from attaining basic needs easily, this label of being “a surrogacy hub” is certainly not the one we can proud off, as we do for our IT outsourcing industry.