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A single mother seeks to rent out her womb

A single mother, who offered to rent her womb to earn money to support her four children, says she received calls from seven people.

world Updated: Jul 31, 2007 15:45 IST

An Argentine single mother who offered to rent her womb to earn money to support her four small children has said she had received calls from seven people, including some in Uruguay and Chile, interested in taking her up on her offer.

The case of Paola V., 27, who lives on the outskirts of Cordoba, capital of the like-named central province, has drawn the attention of the press in Buenos Aires and prompted promises of support from officials and politicians running for office, the Spanish news agency EFE said.

"It hurts me that I had to do this so they would take an interest in my case, it seems very unfair," she told the Todo Noticias cable television network on Monday.

Paola said she was left homeless with her four children - the oldest is 3 years old and after her husband left, and she decided to rent her "fertile womb" in an ad published in the daily La Voz del Interior.

She said she received seven calls on her cell phone from women who were having problems conceiving.

"One woman from Montevideo, another from Chile and five others from Cordoba," Paola said. "They all spoke nicely to me. Two of these people came to visit me because these are things you have to talk about in person."

Paola said she now had doubts about renting her womb or accepting the assistance offered by officials, who initially provided "a one-time subsidy of just 300 pesos" (around $95).

"Up until two years ago, my life was a dream. I was married to a man I loved, my children were healthy and I even had a car to go where I needed," the woman said.

"Everything was going fine, normal, until my last daughter, Maria, who is now eight-months-old, was born. My husband left with another woman, he abandoned us like dogs and the dream became a nightmare," Paola said.

Paola said she was desperate because many times she did not have food for her children, adding that she believed that by being a surrogate mother she could earn enough to care for her kids and cover her expenses during pregnancy.

"It's terrible for the kids to tell you that they are hungry and to not have anything to give them. It's exasperating," Paola said.