wombs for rent

a few times we have been desperately broke and i’ve tried coming up with ways to make more money. one of my ideas, which was quickly shut down by my husband, was to sell my eggs. not the one’s bought at the supermarket, but those that come out of my ovaries. being at an ivy league university, i would constantly run across ads in the daily newspaper.

even with my husband vetoing the idea, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway – despite my education, physical build, and perfect eyesight, the color of my skin rendered me undesirable in the eggs-for-sale business. but now i come across this business in india:

The small clinic at Kaival Hospital matches infertile couples with local women, cares for the women during pregnancy and delivery, and counsels them afterward. Anand’s surrogate mothers, pioneers in the growing field of outsourced pregnancies, have given birth to roughly 40 babies.

being in india, the cost of living is lower, and couples pay less than a third of what they would in the states for a surrogate. there are some obvious moral issues:

But the program raises a host of uncomfortable questions that touch on morals and modern science, exploitation and globalization, and that most natural of desires: to have a family.

i’ve been reading a couple of interesting blogs about adoption that raise many of these same question, especially regarding the “choice” to surrender a biological child to adoptive parents. i wonder though, what are the psychological effects on a child that, while growing in the surrogate’s body, is considered not to be of that person:

”The fetus is theirs, so I’m not sad to give it back,” said Gheewala, who plans to save the $6,250 she’s earning for her two daughters’ education. ”The child will go to the U.S. and lead a better life and I’ll be happy.”

i remember talking to my babies in utero, telling them about our surroundings and their family, sharing my hopes and dreams with them. research also shows that babies recognize their mother’s voices after birth unlike any other voice. while i realize these same issues are apparent in adoption, children who are offered for adoption do have a biological link to the biological mother, and i’m not sure how many biological parents conceive knowing they are going to surrender their child. while the moral issues of voluntariness and choice are there for the surrogate mothers, i just wonder what effect, if any, this practice will have on these children.

and one other thing, the surrogates are taken from their homes and live in one house together, with access to good medical care, food, activity, etc. that’s an issue in and of itself – one woman says that she’s more careful with this pregnancy than she was with her “own.” how would i feel as a mother, who carries a child who is implicitly worth more than her biological children as judged by the concern, care and money devoted to the pregnancy?

back to making money though – being paid $4500 – $6250 for nine months of work does not really seem worth it. i think i’ll work on my husband for selling those eggs…

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