Outsourcing wombs to India, what else can happen?

India, standing as one of the leading countries in the world with whopping economy and fast growing industries, is making news in another field. I was shocked this morning when I saw it on CNN even though its out there for a long time now. I am sure there are many people out there who have no idea of such thing going on. Outsourcing is the known concept to most of us until today reagrding many companies having their employes working from Inda, but this news is even bigger and interesting. Women from US are outsourcing their wombs to someone in India. Its strikingly interesteing considering the diseases and other health problems americans have when they visit India that the women who are childless are taking this huge step. Indians on the other hand are ready to do this as they are many who are jobless and who need money to raise their children. Many women around the country are ready to do this and hospitals along with doctors are busy doing this. Infact many doctors have a list of prospective women who want to have their children born to someone as they can't.

126.jpgOne among many clinics in India that are doing this job is Akanksha clinic. It is at the forefront of India's booming trade in so-called reproductive tourism — foreigners coming to the country for infertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The clinic's main draw, however, is its success using local women to have foreigners' babies. Surrogacy costs about $12,000 in India, including all medical expenses and the surrogate's fee. In the U.S., the same procedure can cost up to $70,000. How surrogacy came to be so popular in the choking backwater of Anand, a dairy community with a population of 150,000 in India's western state of Gujarat, is a long story. The short answer is Dr. Nayna Patel, 47, the clinic's director. A charismatic woman with flowing hair and a toothpaste-commercial smile, Patel single-handedly put Anand on the map when, in 2003, she orchestrated the surrogacy of a local woman who wanted to "lend" her womb to her U.K.-based daughter. The woman gave birth to test-tube twins — her own genetic grandchildren — and the event made headlines worldwide. Afterward, Patel was inundated with requests for surrogacy. She now has 45 surrogate mothers on her books, mostly impoverished women from nearby villages. Twenty-seven of them are currently pregnant, and each will be paid between $5000 and $7000-the equivalent to upwards of 10 years' salary for rural Indians. More than 50 babies have been born at the clinic in the past three years, half to Westerners or Indians living overseas.

Another example of third-world exploitation? Globalization gone mad? The system certainly lends itself to the criticism that foreign women unwilling or unable to pay high Western fees happily exploit poor women at a 10th of the price it would cost back home. The system also avoids the legal red tape and ill-defined surrogacy laws women face in the U.S. (Not to mention that India, unlike some developing countries, has a fairly advanced medical system and doctors who speak English.) Or is it a mutually beneficial relationship? By some estimates, Indian surrogacy is already a $445-million-a-year business.

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