Outsourcing surrogacy to poor countries

Rich countries are now outsourcing surrogacy to poor countries like India. This is a multimillion dollar industry and it recruits poor Indian women to bear children for affluent people. This industry has rapidly grown and foreigners justify it by saying that the $7,000 that they pay the surrogate mothers transforms their entire lives. Such practices hinder social, political, and economic development for the nation as a whole and should be considered illegal. This trade flourishes because Infertility is a medical issue that plagues millions of couples all over the world. In advanced countries, surrogacy is not available legally. Because surrogacy is legal in India, these childless couples have found relief in the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) clinics that have mushroomed in the nation’s largest cities.

Obviously, there are health risks that are associated with such pregnancies. A woman can only be considered to be a surrogate if she has not had any complications during a previous pregnancy.  However, because of poverty, the Indian women cannot afford quality healthcare. Consequently, many birthing complications may have not been previously during a home delivery or at various government clinics which are usually and are also free.  Surrogacy therefore, increases the risk undergone by such women and can cause a variety of health problems. Another problem is the number of implanted embryos. In America and other advanced countries surrogates are given no more than two embryos to avoid complications whereas, in India, surrogates are implanted with up to five embryos in order to increase the chances of pregnancy.

This practice clearly favors the foreign couple, saving both their money and time by increasing the embryo count, even though “it compromises the health and welfare of the babies. Doctors have admitted that using such a large number of embryos heightens health risks for both the babies and the mother. Because several embryos are implanted, it is possible that more than one will turn into a feasible pregnancy. In this case, the intended parents can choose to selectively abort certain fetuses even though it puts the surrogate mother at risk.

This aspect of the surrogacy contract thus proves to be a method to maximize the profit for the most number of children per round of IVF without taking into consideration the value and health of the fetus. Besides this, a much neglected medical issue that must be considered when discussing surrogacy is mental health.  There are hardly any scientific studies on depression of surrogates who are forced to give up the child that grew in her womb. If such psychological conditions are an issue, they are likely to be ignored because of a lack of mental health-trained personnel in rural areas where these women are from.

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