May 26, 2024


Surrogacy has swollen into a US$449 million [sic] industry in India, according to a report in the Christian Science Monitor. Motherhood on the cheap is the main attraction for overseas couples. In the US, a baby from a surrogate mother might cost $45,000, while in India, the cost of paying both the mother and the broker ranges between $2,500 and $6,500.

Doctors insisted to the Monitor that surrogacy was neither exploitative nor exclusively commercial. “This is not the same thing as donating a kidney [for money],” says Dr Nayna Patel, of Kaival Hospital in the down of Anand. There are no psychological consequences either. “Many surrogate mothers see this not as handing over’ the baby, but as ‘handing back’ the baby, as the baby was never theirs to keep,” she says.

For the mothers, although they too speak about altruistic donation, money is clearly a motivation. “How else will us uneducated women earn this kind of money without doing anything immoral?” asks one of the surrogates at the Kaival Hospital.