March 15, 2008
Baby Surrogacy In India Legal And Growing

Outsourcing takes so many forms. Foreigners rent wombs in India in order to save money.

Commercial surrogacy, which is banned in some states and some European countries, was legalized in India in 2002. The cost comes to about $25,000, roughly a third of the typical price in the United States. That includes the medical procedures; payment to the surrogate mother, which is often, but not always, done through the clinic; plus air tickets and hotels for two trips to India (one for the fertilization and a second to collect the baby).

I'm sure you all can see the next logical step: parenting surrogacy. Hire the surrogate mother to keep taking care of the kid even after birth. Get to claim the kid is yours without having to interrupt your drive to success by actually taking the time to raise it. You could fly into India (or have the baby flown to your home country) once a year to get a series of pictures taken with the kid. That way the pictures at your office desk or in your wallet stay up to date with your age and your co-workers do not have to suspect you rarely see the kid. You can even fake authentic child raising problems. Occasionally (but not as often as in real life child raising) when the kid gets the flu in India you could even stay home from work for a couple of days and pretend to take care of Johnnie or Jill.

A deluxe parenting surrogacy service would include a web cam accessible only by you and some camera monitoring personnel in India. When an important moment happens (e.g. your baby's first step) a camera monitoring worker could notify you and email you the video clip showing those first steps. The baby would be kept in a US-looking living room which could be made to look like your own. With the Indian surrogates care in staying away from the camera you could even show your baby's first steps to people in the office.

The problem with parenting surrogacy of course are the invitations where you are supposed to bring Junior. This is where surrogacy in Mexico might be able to compete with surrogacy in India. If the little tyke is only a short airplane hop away from where you live then the baby can be brought in just for baby birthday parties and the like.

Medical tourism surrogacy is rapidly growing.

Rudy Rupak, co-founder and president of PlanetHospital, a medical tourism agency with headquarters in California, said he expected to send at least 100 couples to India this year for surrogacy, up from 25 in 2007, the first year he offered the service.

Lower prices in India make surrogacy affordable by middle class Americans.

Under guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research, surrogate mothers sign away their rights to any children. A surrogateís name is not even on the birth certificate.

This eases the process of taking the baby out of the country. But for many, like Lisa Switzer, 40, a medical technician from San Antonio whose twins are being carried by a surrogate mother from the Rotunda clinic, the overwhelming attraction is the price. ďDoctors, lawyers, accountants, they can afford it, but the rest of us ó the teachers, the nurses, the secretaries ó we canít,Ē she said. ďUnless we go to India.Ē

Outsourcing isn't just for corporations. Outsourcing is for mothers too.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 March 15 10:11 PM  Bioethics Reproduction

Mthson said at March 16, 2008 11:00 AM:

Interesting. Think it's possible embryos can benefit to some degree from a more genetically similar womb environment?

Bob Badour said at March 16, 2008 11:11 AM:

Just think of all the homosexual men we will have from serial surrogates. Parents need to start asking how many children the surrogate has had in the past. They should pay a premium and get a first time mom.

Randall Parker said at March 16, 2008 11:32 AM:


Excellent point. The risk for homosexuality goes up by the number of pregnancies. Surrogates should deliver males for their first couple of pregnancies and then switch to females.

kurt9 said at March 16, 2008 2:08 PM:

The bio-conservatives are all hung up on this, and for a good reason. I think surrogacy is creepy. The idea that a woman puts her body through all of the contortions of pregnancy for another couple is quite repulsive to me, from an aesthetics point of view. Much like organ transplantation and the like. However, the bio-conservatives go off the cliff with their demands that somehow this should be "regulated" or banned" forgetting that anytime you ban something where there is a market for it, you simply create a black market, like our silly war on drugs.

I propose that, like anything else, technology will deliver the positive sum solution to this dilemma. Development of the exowomb is ongoing and will probably reach fruition within 10 years. This will eliminate surrogacy far more effectively than any kind of ban. Of course I forgot, the social conservatives (much like the liberal left) don't actually want to solve any problems in a positive sum manner. Because it they do then they have no further reason to exist and to be able have lots of political power to boss people around. So, you see, there is not such thing as a political solution to any particular problem. There are only technological ones.

Bob Badour said at March 16, 2008 2:54 PM:

Actually, from an aesthetic point of view, I'd kinda like to have kids and a hot looking wife without stretch marks, scars or sags.

David Govett said at March 16, 2008 3:16 PM:

We live to reproduce. Simply that. Nothing is comparable to a man a woman creating and rearing a child. Absolutely nothing. To disrupt that love triangle is to subvert one's very purpose in this transient, autophagic universe. All else is mere solipsism.

Bob Badour said at March 16, 2008 4:07 PM:

To heck with that. I am 100% pure unadulterated soma, and I am here to enjoy it while it lasts.

Mthson said at March 16, 2008 4:36 PM:

Consider as well that there's increased testosterone in the womb that carries over from previous male fetuses. In the study I saw on the subject (ca. 1998) they found this to be consistent with increased average body mass in younger brothers, including penis size. I assume females are affected by the increased testosterone in the womb as well, and in my observations they tend to be larger-boned than females born after older sisters.

Speeches said at March 22, 2008 9:25 PM:
Bob Badour said at March 16, 2008 04:07 PM:

To heck with that. I am 100% pure unadulterated soma, and I am here to enjoy it while it lasts.

We are speeches, and we will persuade your bodies to repeat us to other listening bodies.
lobosolo said at March 29, 2008 10:50 AM:

At least a man could arrange to father a child and raise it without having to worry about getting screwed over in a divorce and losing his children. I like it.

Don't believe the idea notion that birth order affect sexual orientation. I'm the third son and enjoy women. In my experience at college it seemed more likely that the oldest son was the gay one ... but I never conducted a study of it! lol

M.Maheswari said at April 27, 2008 11:48 PM:

Though Surrogacy sounds like a solution for serious infertility problems, continuing the bond for baby care is despicable. The Mother already lost the biological tie-up, and by allowing the baby to live in India is worsening their emotional tie-up too. I think the parents have to be really concerned because itís a gift after the entire struggle made by the childless couple. However the decision is individualized, it is encouraging exploitation of baby care centers in highly populated India.


argu said at July 2, 2008 2:20 AM:

Indian position on surrogacy

ScottSea said at December 23, 2008 11:52 PM:

"Excellent point. The risk for homosexuality goes up by the number of pregnancies."

Wow could you be anymore crude? The risk of homosexuality? You speak as though homosexuality is like down syndrome. It's not a birth defect, as much as you're homophobic mind would like to believe that it is. Bigotry, on the other hand, is clearly a birth defect of which you suffer.

Randall Parker said at December 24, 2008 2:15 PM:


Yes, I can be a lot more crude. Can you be any more politically correct? Try thinking rather than just posing as morally superior.

Risk of homosexuality: What percentage of parents would take a pill if it would prevent a pregnancy from producing a homosexual child? I figure probably 80% or 90%, maybe higher. Surely the masses see homosexuality that way whether you do or not.

Biologically speaking homosexuality is definitely a birth defect. It greatly reduces the odds of reproduction. If evolutionary theorist Greg Cochran is correct homosexuality is the result of an infection during pregnancy that alters brain development to cause the set of behaviors associated with homosexuality. Something caused by an infection during fetal development sounds like a birth defect to me.

So looked at in terms of either societal norms or from a biological standpoint homosexuality is a birth defect. All your moral posing won't change that.

Benjamin said at February 20, 2009 7:35 PM:

Pathogenic hypothesis of homosexuality

The pathogenic hypothesis of homosexuality, also called the 'gay germ' hypothesis, suggests that homosexuality might be caused by an infectious agent. The speculative hypothesis was suggested by Gregory Cochran and Paul Ewald as part of a larger project advocating a number of pathogenic theories of disease. They argue that because of the supposedly reduced number of offspring produced by gay and lesbian people, evolution would strongly select against it. They also draw an analogy to diseases that alter brain structure and behavior, such as narcolepsy, which are suspected of being triggered by viral infection.[44] Cochran also argues that the prevalence of homosexuality in urban areas suggests that an infectious disease causes homosexuality.[45] They conclude that it is a "feasible hypothesis... no more and no less."[44] After being unable to publish this account in a peer-reviewed journal, the idea appeared in the popular press.[46] An American Philosophical Association newsletter the following year stated "there is ultimately very little to be said in favor of these contentions", and criticised the press attention gained, given a lack of peer reviewed publication of the theory, and questioned the general ethics of communication of theories about homosexuality by researchers to the public. [47] In an article in Out Magazine, brain researcher William Byne stated "Cochran and Ewald are guilty of pathologizing homosexuality"[48], while in the same article psychology professor J. Michael Bailey posited that a 'germ theory' did not necessarily mean homosexuality was a disease, but recognised the political ammunition such a belief could give to homophobes. [48]

Ashvini said at May 23, 2010 12:35 AM:

Economical concerns of surrogacy in India


The industry of infant trade, ie baby farming, is not bringing money in to the hands of poor . The compensation they get is very less compared not only to the international standards, even under Indian standards. But the economic compulsion makes them to take this rute.This can be solved if the visiting rights of the surrogate mother is made un swappable to any amount of money , and the practice is stringently followed

The woman gets around Rs. 3lakhs for making a baby.

Days involved in making a baby =About 276

Days for tests = A month =30 days.

It is better to have rest period of at least 60 days after the child birh.

Totally 366 days of work to bring a child into the world.

This work is a continuous 24 hours a day .

So in a single day woman works three shifts at least.

No holidays through ought the work period .when we calculate the holidays and lunch breaks during work
3 hours of lunch break every day ( woman works for 3 shifts)
this 3 hours should be multiplied with days

3*366 =1098 hours that means about 84 days of work

Add this to the 366 days calculated earlier 366+84= 450 days of work.

Then the compensation for general holidays Sundays etc work out to be another 70 days
Totally it will be a continuous work of 520 days. Now a days no farm worker doing laborious tasks work more than 6 hours a day . ( I am in management sector of farm industry so I know the inner work schedule ) To equate the work of child farming with the farm industry Multiply the 520 days of work with 24 hours a day and divide it by 6 hours then

520*24/6 =2080 day of work.
The woman gets 3 lakhs then her daily wages will be
3,00,000 /2080 =144.23

Rs 144.23 is comparable with the minimum pay prescribed the govt. of India , but work is not comparable for any other works.

This is just for work no emotional attachment / concerns etc. The farm work commonly does not have any life threatening conditions like pregnancy. If the woman has to have a C section , life threatening consequences etc are not at all paid. Is is not a form of exploitation?
There are every chance of woman being emotional or physical wreck but who is going to pay for it ?
Where is the compensation for the emotional trauma she has to undergo for the rest of her life?

In our so called International baby farms after contracting the woman they keep them in houses along with other such women food and T.V entertainment provided and call as
motherly care.
This is just prevent them eating something undesirable , to get them away from having abortion, Or just prevent them from running away. Is it not cruelty against humanity?

In olden days even the slaves were fed and provided shelter.

Now conceder cost of international clients .

A baby that comes to this world comes here with mouth and two hands work.
The international clients pay around Rs 8 lakhs to get a baby that works about $16000.
For the amount we are loosing one human being.
You can not say otherwise that human being wouldnít have come and we would have lost even those $16000.
Conceder the scenario
Because of the high profit international clients these farms farm babies for them.
Infertile Indian couple who can not afford those costs forgo there own baby.
They remain unhappy let us presume.
This unhappiness leads to less productivity Loss for the Indian economy.
The human being that would have come to life in this country and have contributed to the welfare of this country is transferred elsewhere.
Loss to the Indian economy in the log run. Presumption is that the baby would have done well in life and earned more than for what it has been sold.

This case is very probable because the Indian middle class can not invest about 8 lakhs on a baby. But if the baby is born they can bring up it well and the baby earns more than this amount within years. As the children support their parents in old age the burden on the government to support the elderly is lessened. So profit to the government.

A small calculation

Baby created and transferred to over sea clients fetches about 8 lakhs.

Let us assume the same baby is created for a middle class family of India having a household income of about 8 lakhs per year.

Spending on the education and other needs of the baby till it attains working age let us assume about 1.5 lakhs per year this works out to be around 30 lakhs. This is the expenditure of the family not that of the govt. Any how they would have spent it so we can safely say there is no profit or loss as for as the economy is considered .
From the point of national economy the expenditure is nill.

The baby let us assume groves and gets a job paying About 40000 a month just like its parents.
(Donít ask me why it should not get a lees paying job, if it is your question my answer is why the baby should not get a very high paying job or why it should not become a scholar ,scientist, researcher and earn a lot more than the assumed salary.)
40000*12 months =4.8 lakhs per year
For the sake of calculation let us assume the salary remains the same for the working life of the child and child works for 30 years.

Then 4.8*30=144 lakhs.
So the opportunity cost of a baby is a loss of Rs.1.36 crores. For the economy.

So it is just a myth that economy is gaining from International baby trade.

Because of the this trade Indian couples are loosing an opportunity to have their own child. It has been written in some propagating websites that the trade is beneficial for both the sides they are true. Those are the sides of baby buyers and ART centers not the women who are forced to become surrogates.

While giving visiting rights to the mother care should be taken to transfer her rights to her spouse or nominee in case of her death during labor. Or related incidents otherwise the ART centers may resort to the easy route of killing the mother at birth.

The process of Pregnancy and child hand over is not as straight as they advertise in the promotional literature. So the attrition rate of workers at those centers is very high. They wont talk about the conditions inside the center for the fear of their life.

Genetically the westerners are bigger than Indian women. So their fetus will be bigger than what an Indian woman carry for a full term. The method of making her to carry it is grow the embryo in her over 7.5 months and induce miscarriage. The argument for this is there will be less labor pain there will be miscarriage in nature etc. To do this they add medicines in her diet without her knowledge and also without the knowledge of the person who feeds her. Donít you think that it is a direct onslaught on her liberty?

The embryo does not belongs to her so there will not be any association with the baby is another argument.
You wont have anything genetically common with your spouse donít you have attachment with him or her.
Most of the men are ready for helping the woman for over a long period. There are incidents of men hiring private detectives and searching the woman who has given birth to their child just help her financially. Then why the So called ART centers should be secretive?
The reasoning is it is difficult to get surrogates and ones a woman becomes surrogate these centers are very keen to make her surrogate for next harvests.

By providing mandatory visiting rights for the surrogate mothers this practice can be controlled up to some extent. These visiting rights should be transferable to the spouse of the woman or her nominees . In case of over sea customers The ART centers should be made responsible to provide travel allowances documentation etc. It will be very difficult to monitor the things so it can be made self regulatory by making the Surrogate mothers their spouses ,the intended parents and the representatives of ART centers to visit a registrars office and sign the documents in presence of the officer concerned.

Argument against it may be The social stigma attached with it may be harmful for the surrogate mother, The presence of the surrogate mother in the scenario may lead to the break in the family of intended mother. Or the surrogate may exploit the family of child after child birth etc.

If it is social stigma why the trade /occupation should be there at all . The only other two professions having social stigma are manual scavenging and prostitution. Can anybody legitimately approve those occupations as occupations. If the social stigma attached is the concern of the ART centers this has to banned ought right.

If the presence of the surrogate spoils the family let that family perish. The family should be raised on the basis of broadmindedness ,Truth and frankness. Not on the basis of arrogance of wealth, selfishness and greed.

Surrogate may exploit the family , if it is the reason she is taking something from the child whom she helped to bring into this world it is her legitimate right. Though you have made an agreement against it by encashing her poverty.

No way I am equating surrogacy with prostitution but the line separating them is very thin.
Prostitution Commercial surrogacy
The woman bears the child of unknown parentage Father of the child not known Yes Yes in anonymous surrogacy even the mother wont be known
Woman bearing the child is in no way connected with the upbringing of the child Mostly true because of economical reasons True because she has been forced forced to do so by the way of an agreement.
Woman wont be able to keep the child if she has emotional connections with it Mostly true True
There will be violation of personal liberty /body Yes Yes what about the forced miscarriages
Emotinally taxing for the woman Yes Yes
Women are exploited Yes Yes just see about the money the woman gets for caring the child (3Lakhs)
Woman who looks after them (2.5 Lakhs)
General practitioner who brings her in (50000)
Clients are charged will be around 16 to 20 lakhs
Poverty drives them to take the profession Yes Yes
Legality Govt.has banned it Govt is supporting.
Brings happiness into the families Mostly not true Questionable.

The woman having no child feel miserable I agree, they should be given an opportunity to have their own biological children is agreeable , But at the cost of a poor soul is not palatable for me. It is true even with the husband of the woman near family friends even with the woman , when they have a little bitterness about the origin of the child how can they be happy over a long run?
In the long run somebody or the other will tell the child about its origin, and what those parents can say if it was anonymous surrogacy? They stand as liars , in the eyes of their own child. This brings emotional turmoil for the child and parents.
Commercial surrogacy is not a boon to the uneducated poor of India
The countries which have banned commercial surrogacy on their soil are exporting it to India .Donít you think it as ought right racism they are discriminating against the poor of India. By asking our poor to do what they donít want to be done by their fellow citizens.
Even among those surrogates hired by the so called ART s how many belong to the upper class /high caste may be almost nil. Nobody from wealthy sections of the society take it as occupation. So it is a discrimination against the low caste poor . Mostly the beneficiaries are rich and affluent high caste families.

Intended parents I am not at all against you or your right to have biological children if you are from India . I am arguing for making the things palatable for the surrogate mother for you for and for the child born out of the arrangement.
Just make an attitudinal change the things become very clear .

Intended parents in your view the surrogate mother should be venerable than the mother nature
The nature had not given you an opportunity to have your own child. But this woman is bestowing it upon you . She is undergoing pain effort and emotional turmoil of separation from the child just to make you happy. She is giving an invaluable gift to you. May be a gift you could not get from your relatives, friends , acquaintances and co workers or from any other person known to you.
Then why Measuring it with one time payment of some money?
Why the woman has to be treated as an employee who has to be fired after getting the work done?
What is the problem in accepting her presence as reality?
It will bring satisfaction even to you that you stayed frank about the birth of your child and had helped the woman who has helped you.
Why it is not possible to friendly with that poor woman when she has given a gift of immense value for you?
You may be a high profile person she may be economically poor but she is richer than you by giving a baby to you. After all your wealth is for the welfare of the baby isnít it ?

A child in a rich affluent family having links with a poor so called low caste family may help in mingling of the castes . This will lead to better understanding between the rich and poor the so called low borns and high caste people.So It is very much essential to make the visiting rights of the surrogate mother to her child. In the long run it will sociologically beneficial.

Now I remember two stories from Indian mythology One is that of Kartikeya and other is tat of Duryodhana.
For the benefit of the ones who may not be aware of the stories
Kartikeya is the commander of the army of the gods and he is the god of fertility by tradition .Kartikeya is also called as subramanya swamy.
He is the son of Shiva the father of universe and Parvati The mother of universe.
When the gods request for child for the post of their commander Shiva gives a bija let us say a fertilized egg for the arguments sake. That will be implanted in Mother Ganga .River ganges.As the Godess of the river stays in the matted locks of Shiva A known surrogate.After sometime it becomes unbearable for the surrogate mother Ganga to carry the embryo.
She makes a miscarriage .
Then the god of fire Agni keeps the embryo on Saravana( A kind of grass believed to have the potential of nectar.) Let us take it as incubator.
Here the Sapta matrakas feed the child. Nurses or the care takers .

Then The god Kartikeya is born .Here all the parties involved have been given due respect and Shiva has keeping the surrogate mother of his child on his head even today that too in the presence of Parvati his wife .But the child born out of this arrangement is revered by all. A good child who won over the demon king Tarakasura. May be a symbol of demonish instincts of humans.

Another is that of Duryodhana the son of Dritarashtra and Gandhari The kaurava kings. According to the story out of jealousy over Kunti devi the another daughter in law of the family Gandhari rubs her uterus and makes a miscarriage .The embrio was split into one hundred pieces by the sages (doctors of the day) and implanted in one hundred Kumbhas (anonymous surrogates) No respect was given to the surrogate mothers they might have carried it till maturity for the fear of the king(Your agreement Guaranteed by the Government)One hundred children are born to Gandahari.As the surrogates had no interaction with the children they might have suffered in silence.
Duryodhana being the eldest of these children grows as an arrogant unreasonable and selfish person. He inflicts war of Kurukshetra on his kingdom .In the war he was killed along with all his siblings bringing untold misery To Gandhari.Now duryodhana is hated by all as the destroyer of the dynasty.
From this one has to be remembered is that if you inflict pain to others it comes to you multiplied by a hundred times.

Society needs children who grow into venerable ones not the destroyer of the clan. So it is very much necessary to give due respect to all the parties involved.

By making it mandatory un swappable right for the surrogate mother to visit the child born out of surrogacy , society gains .
Further govt can ban the right of gay dads hiring surrogates in India.
It can be made mandatory for a woman not to rent her womb more than once.
And banning the people hiring another woman for making a sibling for the child can be thought of. Already the planet is brimming with humans.

Rent a womb contract is just another form of bonded labor disguised under nicely formed jargon

In this contract womb may be the place where you keep the pre fertilized egg for development. For the womb to work other organs of the woman has to function. Womb can not survive without food , without air ,without circulation ,without endocrine system you can keep all other systems of the human body. So in the name of the womb you are hiring the human body. People wont say it as hiring the human body to develop their child just because it is against the law. What ever may be the jargons the reality remains the same .If you accept the fact there is no need for another law to ban the contracts. The existing laws against bonded labor are enough.

Surrogate Mother India said at September 3, 2011 1:21 AM:

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