India: Surrogacy worth $2.3 billion, but mothers underpaid & denied nutritional & health basics Print E-mail

 Thursday July 18 2013

Surrogate mothers underpaid, uncared for

New Delhi: While India emerges as a hub for surrogacy, a study released Wednesday says most surrogate mothers are not properly paid or cared for.

The Centre for Social Research says the surrogate mothers are paid only one to two percent of what the commissioning parents pay for a baby (Scroll down to read Centre for Social Research's Press Conference and link to complete report on the subject).

"The commissioning parents pay anything between Rs.40-45 lakh for a surrogate baby, but these women get barely Rs.2-3 lakh," Ranjana Kumari, director of CSR, said.

According to the study, 46 percent of respondents in Delhi and 44 percent in Mumbai said they received Rs.3-4 lakh for surrogacy while 42 percent in Mumbai and 22 percent in Delhi got Rs.2-4 lakh.

Only 26 percent in Delhi said they earned above Rs.4 lakh.

Manasi Mishra, head of the research team which brought out the report, said the women were kept either in hostels or in isolated flats or hotel rooms, out of bounds from their own families.

In many cases, their nutritional or health needs were not taken care of.

"We have seen cases where they have billed the commissioning parents for articles like health drinks but the woman had never even seen a health drink," said Mishra.

"If the woman has a miscarriage or has some health issues after the delivery, she is not taken care of," Mishra added.

The researchers also highlighted that touts or middlemen had a big role in the whole business. Nearly 74 percent of surrogate mothers in Delhi and Mumbai said these agents were their primary source of information.

"According to (estimates), surrogacy is an industry worth $2.3 billion," Ranjana Kumari said. The activists say there is no law on surrogacy.

"Despite the fact that India is becoming a hub for surrogacy, we don't even know if it is legal or illegal because there is no law," Ranjani Kumari said.

"We are not against surrogacy, but the unregulated commercial nature it has acquired is a serious issue," she said.

The study adds that nearly 40 percent of the parents who opt for surrogacy are NRIs or foreigners while 60 percent are Indians.

Surrogacy Motherhood: Ethical or Commercial?

by Centre for Social Research

The unregulated reproductive tourism industry of ‘procreating’ through surrogacy is burgeoning in India while there is still no legal provision to safeguard the interests of the surrogate mother, the child or the commissioning parents according to a report released here today. The Study -Surrogacy Motherhood: Ethical or Commercial? conducted by Centre for Social Research and supported by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in the years 2011-12, further revealed that though the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Regulation Bill, 2010 did bring forth certain important points for the legal framework to be based on, it has left out many crucial issues relating to surrogacy arrangements.

According to the study, in Delhi & Mumbai, the respondents said that poverty and education of their children was the reason to opt for becoming a surrogate mother. 73.77% of surrogate mothers in Delhi and Mumbai said that the primary source of information for the surrogate mothers was the agents who had approached them for surrogacy.

Surrogate motherhood raises difficult ethical, social and economic issues, which remain unanswered. All these need to be analysed thoroughly before designing any policy relating to surrogacy and making legal provisions. The lack of research on surrogacy poses a problem for Government agencies to initiate legal provisions and take substantive action against those found guilty. Keeping this in mind the Centre for Social Research (CSR) conducted a pilot study on the issue of surrogacy in the areas of Anand, Surat and Jamnagar in Gujarat in the year 2010. After noticing a shifting trend in surrogacy from smaller cities to big metros such as Delhi and Mumbai, which are more easily accessible and provide better health care facilities and anonymity, CSR’s second study focused on these two metros of India which are slowly and steadily rising as surrogacy centers of the world.

Read the complete Report of Surrogacy Motherhood: Ethical or Commercial HERE