How would you feel about a pay raise of 1300% going from making $2 a day to getting paid $26 a day to sit around and be pregnant? It seems women in India are signing up left and right for a chance to to be a surrogate mother for international couples.
It seems that when Canada outlawed the practice of surrogate mothers that India found a loophole in the law.
Now inside two special houses in the Indian state of Gujarat, these special women spend their time waiting. They live together, eat meals together and take sewing, cooking and English classes together: 67 surrogates whose bellies bulge with the babies of foreign couples, including Canadians.
Tiny, 26-year old Vandana is pregnant again. In 2008 she delivered twin girls for a New Brunswick couple. Vandana worked as a roadside labourer breaking stones at construction sites for up to 12 hours a day, for which she earned about $2 daily for her labours. According to the clinic that employs her, she bought a house with the money the doctors paid her — about $7,000 — for becoming impregnated with the Canadian embryos.
Another surrogate, Smita, paid for her daughter’s schooling with the rupees she made bearing twins — a boy and girl — for another couple from Canada.
“We have helped many Canadian patients,” says Dr. Nayana Patel, medical director of the Akanksha IVF Center in Anand, Gujarat.
Benhur Samson is helping Canadians procure surrogates, too. The Chicago-based, Indian-born entrepreneur runs Surrogacy Abroad Inc. His all-inclusive, $36,000 US international surrogacy package covers services from psychological screening of surrogates to exit visas for the babies. Samson says he assisted four Canadian couples in bringing babies home from India last year; he’s working with “25 to 30” more.
Do you think this is wrong? Do you see India becoming the place to get a baby for the world?