Thoughts on Surrogacy Debate in India

Give Birth to New Ideas, New Perspectives, New Solutions

 Mind blowing refreshing article illustrates the complex issues that are part of the Surrogacy debate in developing countries. Doctors Nayna Patel and Mohan Rao present their cases in such an informative and dignified manner here at the New Internationalist Magazine website: Is surrogacy a legitimate way out of poverty? http://newint.org/sections/argument/2014/11/01/argument-surrogacy-poverty/

Doctor Mohan Rao makes a great point when he says ‘The fact remains that commercial surrogacy is taking place largely in poor countries, with a large population of poor women, willing to be exploited within a system of entrenched structural coercion’. Doctor Nayna Patel works with many surrogates and says ‘Most of our surrogates have been able to use the money to support their children into higher education, buy a house for their family, start a small business, and pay off debts. They never see themselves as reproductive slaves!’.

I really was agreeing with both arguments. I think for me it boils down to agency of women in society and for society to not judge if woman choose to sell her time, work, energy, and emotional care towards giving birth to someone else’s baby as a job or career.

Great Artwork of the strength of women and pregnancy

The major issue is figuring out what fair pay would be globally for all female workers involved in the global industry. Maybe whatever the price is in the USA (if it’s “just”) , women in India should get the same? Maybe a global union for female workers involved in surrogacy should be created?

Whats your super power?

I believe that it’s definitely an issue when surrogacy is an only solution out of poverty but there are other jobs out there that are very limiting to ones rights (I.e being a maid in a foreign land that has horrible temporary labour regulations). I didn’t get the connection to patriarchy and passing the male genes down. I think both partners wanting to have a child desire this because they want to experience being parents to a being that shares at least one of their DNA. Surrogacy is used for homosexual couples also, so I don’t think it be seen as entrenching the heterosexual normative family.

Equality

It’s not black and white just because one gets paid doesn’t mean you can’t be altruistic! Nurses,teachers,doctors get paid to provide a service that can be altruistic, so why can’t a poor woman also want to do it to help a couple and get paid?

Great services provided should receive fair pay

It’s definitely not all peachy in developing countries but this if regulated could be a path out of poverty, however I am not sure how sustainable it is in countries with weak institutional infrastructure and gender issues ( which is to a certain extent an issue in every country sadly). In addition, I believe few women volunteer or grow up wishing to become surrogates if their governments where able to provide other ways for them to find work and be independent. 

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