Surrogacy

According to the Artificial Reproductive Technique (ART) Guidelines, Surrogacy is an "arrangement in which a woman agrees to a pregnancy, achieved through assisted reproductive technology, in which neither of the gametes belong to her or her husband, with the intention of carrying it to term and handing over the child to the person or persons for whom she is acting as surrogate; and a "surrogate mother" is a woman who agrees to have an embryo generated from the sperm of a man who is not her husband, and the oocyte for another woman implanted in her to carry the pregnancy to full term and deliver the child to its biological parents(s)". Nature has bestowed the beautiful capacity to procreate a life within women and every woman cherishes the experience of motherhood. Unfortunately, some women due to certain physiological conditions can not give birth to their own off-spring. The desire for motherhood leads them to search for alternative solutions, and surrogacy presents itself as the most viable alternative.
Advances in assisted reproductive techniques such as donor insemination and, embryo transfer methods, have revolutionized the reproductive environment, resulting in 'surrogacy', as the most desirable option. The system of surrogacy has given hope to many infertile couples, who long to have a child of their own. Taking advantage of the advanced medical facilities, they seek alternative solutions like Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART), In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intra-Uterine Injections (IUI), in the hope of having a child of their own.

In the past, surrogacy arrangements were generally confined to kith and kin of close relatives, family, or friends, usually as an altruistic deed. But, with the introduction of financial arrangements in the process, surrogacy has extended its network beyond family, community, state, and even across the country. The concept of surrogacy has turned a normal biological function of a woman‘s body into a commercial contract. Surrogate services are advertised. Surrogates are recruited, and operating agencies make huge profits. The commercialization of surrogacy has raised fears of a black market and of baby selling and breeding farms; turning impoverished women into baby producers and the possibility of selective breeding at a price. Surrogacy degrades a pregnancy to a service and a baby to a product. Experience shows that as with any other commercial dealing, the customer lays down his/ her conditions before purchasing the goods. Slowly but steadily India is emerging as a popular destination for surrogacy arrangements for many rich foreigners. Cheap medical facilities, advanced reproductive technological know-how, coupled with poor socio-economic conditions, and a lack of regulatory laws in India, in this regard combined to make India an attractive option.

The LEAF FOUNDATION

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11th December, 2011
The Telegraph, Kolkata
Modern-day technology has allowed us to create an environment outside the body which is almost as good as the environment inside the body.
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