Surrogacy is no more limited to smaller towns in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh or Maharashtra. A new study has found that poor women in cities such as Delhi and Mumbai are being lured for surrogacy at a price ranging from Rs. 3-4 lakh per pregnancy and there is little concern for health or rights of surrogate mothers.
The study in Delhi and Mumbai by advocacy group, the Centre for Social Research (CSR), showed agents were luring women from deprived backgrounds for surrogacy and no more smaller towns in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are sought after destinations for surrogacy.
That has also brought its ill-practices. "There was no payment structure for surrogate mothers, who opted for this business because of poverty and their wish to get their children educated. The report said some clinics pay little more than the initially agreed amount if the surrogate mother is carrying twins while most clinics don't pay anything extra."
"There is no rule related to the amount of compensation for the surrogate mother and was arbitrarily decided by the clinics," the report said.
Ranjana Kumari, Director CSR, said "Due to the commercialisation of surrogacy, the plight of the surrogate mother and the unborn child is often ignored."
The report also highlighted that surrogate mothers had no rights as all decisions related to surrogacy were taken by clinics and the commissioning parents. Most surrogate mothers are not informed about their rights and the contract is second mostly in second tri-semester.
Another trend noticed was of two or three surrogate mothers impregnated for same commissioning parents, without their knowledge to ensure a high success rate.
"In case the two or three surrogate mothers become pregnant, the surrogacy pregnancies would continue if the commissioning parents wanted to continue the pregnancies. If not, the healthiest pregnancy would be allowed to continue and the other pregnancies would be aborted by taking abortion pills, about which the mothers have no clue," the report said, adding that health of mother is concern only when health of fetus is an issue.