The Baby Business: A Study on Indian Market of Commercial Surrogacy and Its Implications

Ritika Mukherjee, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Conservative and traditional in one hand and progressive and modernising on the other, India has evolved as the surrogacy capital of the world, extending the service of commercial surrogacy not only to Indian couples, but also to foreign nationals and thus enormously transforming the lives of women and its other stakeholders. However, with the law still in making and lack of regulation coupled with the desire of earning quick money, young, married, illiterate and unemployed women belonging to low socioeconomic status are recruited as surrogate mothers for an average of 3500 USD. These women are increasingly looking at commercial surrogacy as a means of livelihood and their families encourage them solely for money. Multiple attempts for successful pregnancy, mental pressure to produce a healthy baby, women opting to be a surrogate mother more than once just for money, raises many questions on reproductive health, human rights, and professional ethics.

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Presented in Session 157: New Perspectives on Women's Reproductive Choices