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Are Surrogates In India Being Exploited?

CBS News' Holly Williams is reporting on the multimillion-dollar surrogacy industry in India. More Americans are traveling to India to where hiring a surrogate to carry their child is less expensive than it is in the U.S. The report raised a number of questions, so I talked with Lauri Berger De Brito, co-founder of Global IVF, Inc and Agency For Surrogacy Solutions. She recently took a trip to India to visit surrogacy agencies and she has blogged about what she learned there.

One concern the CBS report raises is that these women, who are quite poor, are being exploited. According to De Brito, "We have to stop looking at Indian surrogacy with Western eyes. These women really view it as a business arrangement." She visited 20 surrogacy clinics in four cities, and overall was impressed. The surrogates she met in clinic waiting rooms and surrogate housing seemed well-nourished, happy, healthy and well taken care of. It's an amazing opportunity for these women to make a significant amount of money, raise their level in their family and raise their standard of living, De Brito says.

Currently, surrogacy in India is not regulated; I asked De Brito if she thinks it should be. "It would be nice if India would do same as the U.S. has, in terms of having organizations like ASRM that offer guidelines that clinics and agencies adhere to." She believes government regulation of surrogacy would pose problems as it does in the U.S.: the government is making medical decisions that should be left up to the doctor. Right now, the laws have changed and gay couples, singles and couples married less than two years can no longer do surrogacy in India.

If you're considering using a surrogate here or abroad to build your family, do your homework. Not all agencies and clinics and rise to the ethical and moral high standards we should be able to expect.

Comments (1)

surrogates in India are not exactly exploited as the agencies only have a deal when they are ready to work with them. They are paid good pay too. I think it would be a good support for below poverty women in India.

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