Pregnancies Outsourced to India

Western couples 'renting' wombs of Indian women
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2007 6:54 AM CST
Pregnancies Outsourced to India
Dr. Nayna Patel, right, examines a surrogate mother at Kaival Hospital in Anand, India, Monday, Dec. 17, 2007. The small clinic at Kaival Hospital matches infertile couples with local women, cares for the women during pregnancy and delivery, and counsels them afterward. Anand's surrogate mothers, pioneers...   (Associated Press)

A town in India, where more than 50 women are currently pregnant with the children of Western couples, has hatched a booming industry in commercial surrogacy, dubbed "wombs for rent." The women in Anand have been impregnated with the sperm and eggs of US, British and other couples unable to conceive—and are paid more than many of them earn in 15 years. They live together and are monitored at the clinic during their pregnancies, which have produced 40 babies to date.

The doctor behind the boom calls it a win-win situation for couples who want babies and Indian women who get much-needed cash. But critics say Westerners are paying poor women exploitative wages for the pain and risks of childbirth, and worry that the rich will someday outsource pregnancy to the lowest bidder for the sake of mere convenience. (More India stories.)

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