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A Search for a Surrogate Leads to India
On their third trip to India, Rhonda and Gerry Wile finally heard a sound they thought they might never hear: the heartbeat of their unborn child.
Four nerve-racking months after that joyful ultrasound moment, their son arrived on Aug. 26 at 10:22 p.m. weighing 2.7 kilograms and sporting wisps of dark hair. They named him Blaze Xennon Wile, the middle name chosen from a book of baby names that gave its meaning as "from a foreign or faraway land."
"It seems unreal. We hold him and kiss him a thousand times a day," Mr. Wile says. "It's so lucky that it worked out for us."
For the Wiles, a married couple who live in Arizona, the birth was the culmination of four years of trying to conceive. Theirs was a path marked by wrenching disappointment, a failed pregnancy, many hours on the Internet -- and long airplane trips. The determination to produce a child that is at least partly their genetic offspring led them finally on a high-tech passage to India, where they hired a surrogate to bear their baby.
No official agency keeps track of the number of would-be parents who travel to India for surrogacy. But the proliferation of clinics around the country providing such services gives some idea of the rising demand for surrogates: women who bear children on behalf of other people, often in return for money, a practice that is legal in India. Read more.