The latest trend in outsourcing, not call center, software development or research; not computer industry or animation or engineering. But it is pregnancy! Increasingly childless American women are looking to Indian woman for their wombs. Of course, at a price. A win-win for all they say, American woman get a baby without hassles of pregnancy and at a fraction of cost. Womb donors makes more than what they would have made in their entire adult life, all within 10 months.
Can this be seen as miracle of modern medicine or exploitation of poor woman of India? It is much like controversy surrounding organ donations or right to sell one’s body (prostitution). The experience of American infertile woman or the surrogate mothers in India is not easy or explainable. But everything cannot be reduced simply to economics and global free trade. Ethics and morality does matter for the world order. Diginity of commoner is worth fighting for.
This is the height of medical tourism – by the way it is a booming industry in India recently where they attract Western patients for superspeciality medical services like heart surgery and organ transplants. Now they have extended the idea to “renting” woman’s wombs. The surrogacy is estimated now to be a $445-million-a-year business in India.
Will such developments a result of legal hurdles of surrogacy within US or high cost of the procedure? Why are they forced to look outside? Why not these infertile couples go for adoption? Or what does it take to remain as a childless couple and invest your life and resources for other’s kids or even other parts of the world.
What happens when the child has birth defect or any abnormality? Will the American couple still own such babies? Why do we want pefect babies? Is this a step toward designer babies? Is anything wrong with “baby farms” or assembly line in baby making – industrial effienecy coming to pregnancies?
See photos here.