Surrogacy in India
The essay, “Inside India’s surrogacy industry”, talked about how the surrogacy industry made an impact on India. Being a socially conservative country, India surprisingly does not reject the idea but rather supportive of it. The confederation of Indian industry reported that by 2012, the practice of surrogacy will generate 2.
3 billion dollars. Why is this industry advancing so fast in India? First of all, commercial surrogacy is legal in India, while it is still banned in many other countries.
With the business growing so fast, the government is drafting laws to make sure surrogacy is not being privatized. The government is setting the age limit of the surrogate mother to 35 and can only have the maximum of 5 pregnancies, including their own children. Another reason that surrogate mothers are so popular in India is the pricing. In western countries, surrogacy can cost up to 90,000 dollars but in India, the surrogates are only being paid around 6500 to 7500, which is the sum of their income for several years.
While this seems like a perfect balance of supply and demand, it does raise some alarming questions. Has the need for survival or simply living a better life twisted the fabric of traditional human beliefs? India, a religious and conservative country, allows their women to simply “rent” out their wombs. To my understanding, the ability to reproduce is a gift from god. Putting a price tag on something so precious and sacred is no better than prostitution. If prostitution is illegal, then why shouldn’t paid surrogacy be?
If compared, prostitution may create less long term problem than the surrogate business. Another problem that we should realize is that the Western side of the world should not bring their problems to the east. Child labor and sex related business in China, underage sex trade in Thailand and Indonesia and more other problems were brought in by the westerners. Anything they could not fulfill in their countries, were brought to the weaker east. At times, the supply and demand rule apply but so do many social and health problems.
Children who work in sweat shops do not get proper education and they will only remain working in the shop. Children who sell their bodies at a young age were misled to believe that it is a proper method for survival. Surrogacy is not the world’s most critical problem but it does touch on many ethnical issues . What needs to be done is carefully review different possibilities and draft laws to heavily regulate. Being able to reproduce is a gift , not a business.