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Troubling Questions Surround Surogate-born Children in India

by Rick Westhead,,  April 26, 2010
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India now has a fast-growing, multimillion-dollar commercial surrogacy business that churns out babies for hundreds of Europeans and North Americans each year. The going rate for a surrogate mother is close to $7,000, a windfall in a country where many labourers earn $1 a day.

India is now trying establish order in the “rent-a-womb” industry. The India Council of Medical Research is advising the government on new legislation that could be introduced this year to replace the country’s current surrogacy guidelines, which do not have the force of law.

Among other things, the legislation would prevent gay and lesbians from hiring surrogates, mirroring India’s legal ban on gay marriage.

“We are following the law of the land,” says Dr. R.S. Sharma, a deputy director general at the ICMR in New Delhi.

Couples would be required to buy temporary health and life insurance for surrogates, and surrogates would get more say in negotiating their fee, Sharma says.

Surrogate child-bearing would also only be allowed after foreign couples obtain documents from their embassies promising surrogate-born babies would be granted citizenship in their genetic parents’ home countries.

That may not fly in Canada. Read more.


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