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India Has Wombs For Rent

Wombing It Up in India

A while back I saw a series on Oprah about surrogacy in India. Yesterday I was reminded of the topic when I read a New York Times article about it.

For many, becoming parents is a dream, sometimes unattainable through traditional methods. When people have to examine unconventional conceiving options, the dollar signs can be overwhelming.

IVF treatments can run about $10,000 per try. And surrogacy in the States averages $100,000. If you're a wealthy individual or pair, that may not seem daunting, but for many it's unrealistic.

To see what some Americans are doing to get their babes,


India has quickly made an international name for itself as a place to go for medical procedures from heart surgery to plastic surgery. Now, it is also becoming a mecca for "womb rentals." Couples from all over the world are finding their dream babies in the heart of country.

When surrogacy can cost roughly $75,000 to $100,000 in America, it costs just $25,000 in India. And that includes all medical bills, payment to the surrogate, and air and hotel accommodations for two trips to India. For desperate couples, is it an answer to their prayers.

At PlanetHospital in California, President Rudy Rupak sent 25 couples to India in 2007. In 2008, he expects to send four times as many. As with most things on the "cheap," critics worry that the surrogates are being exploited for their less-expensive wombs.

To make sure the process is as wholesome as possible, there are rules set in place at many clinics. The surrogates must be younger than 45 and have a child of their own. Many of the hospitals pay the baby–carrying women directly, from which they typically receive about a quarter of the overall fee.

In a country where the average annual income is equivalent to $450, a $6,000 paycheck makes a world of difference.

The guest on Oprah's show summed it up:

You have not walked in my shoes as someone who cannot have a child. And you don't know how it feels to not be able to pay for your children to go to school, to not be able to . . . take care of your family. You don't know how that feels. And we were able to come together, [Sangita – the surrogate] and I, and give each other a life that neither of us could achieve on our own. And I just don't see what's wrong with that.

If you were in a situation where a surrogate was your only answer, would you consider India as a source?

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