Surrogacy in India: The Sun Still Never Sets

Posted by Marcy Darnovsky May 29, 2009
Biopolitical Times
A recent headline in London's Evening Standard announced, "Investigation: Surrogate baby delivered every 48 hours." The package of stories features a happy British couple - one of many hundreds, if the claim is accurate - who are now going to India for cut-rate surrogacy. The women serving as surrogates are typically poor rural villagers recruited by brokers in Mumbai, Delhi and Gujarat province.

The Standard's stories focus on the couple's great joy at becoming parents. Though the babies were born prematurely and had to be hospitalized for weeks, the couple's main message was the "nightmare" they have suffered because UK law prohibits commercial surrogacy:
The Morrisons used the interview with the Standard to give hope to other childless couples. But they also took a sideswipe at Britain's "bureaucratic" surrogacy laws which outlaw commercial deals.
The Morrisons recount their experiences in great detail. The surrogate, identified only by her first name, was apparently not interviewed by the Standard reporter. But the Morrisons explain their relationship with her:
"I had considered the problem of any surrogate mother carrying my babies becoming attached to them before I met Vimla but I never thought about it again afterwards. In a way I wanted her to become attached because I wanted her to care for them during the pregnancy.
"But it would not have been in her interest to keep the babies because she could not afford to - and in any case they were going to be white kids and it would have looked a bit funny."
"She asked us to send her a photograph of them on their birthday, which of course we will do. She was very respectful, she wasn't over possessive and trying to grab them from me or anything like that. She was just so lovely."
The Standard notes that the rent-a-womb option
also raises the prospect of wealthy women, who do not wish to go through the inconvenience or pain of childbirth, travelling to India to have their eggs implanted in the wombs of Indian women.

Previously on Biopolitical Times: