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Indian Surrogates Feel Hurt by Ban on Surrogacy for Foreign Couples

Indian Surrogates Feel Hurt by Ban on Surrogacy for Foreign Couples

For thousands of childless couples the world over, India has been the go-to destination to fulfill their dreams of becoming parents, thanks to its well-trained doctors, well-appointed fertility clinics and vast numbers of poor women willing to serve as surrogate mothers.

Not anymore.

The Indian government recently banned surrogate services for foreigners and ordered fertility clinics to stop the practice of hiring Indian women to bear children for them. It's said to be intended to protect the women from exploitation, though some who have worked as surrogates say the ban actually hurts them.

"Becoming a surrogate mother is our one chance to build a house, or get a new roof. We earn more from one surrogacy than from 10 years of working as domestic help," said Tina Rajesh Chavan, speaking over telephone from Anand, a major hub of fertility clinics, in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

India was among the few countries in the world that allowed surrogacy — where a woman could be hired to carry the child of a couple through a process of in-vitro fertilization and embryo transfer.

India's home ministry has ordered Indian embassies abroad not to grant visas to couples visiting the country for surrogacy, or "reproductive tourism" as the practice has come to be known.

Though laws governing surrogacy have yet to be passed, the government outlined its position in an affidavit placed before the Supreme Court on Oct. 28. It said India "does not support commercial surrogacy and the scope of surrogacy is limited to Indian married infertile couples only, and not to foreigners." A previous order had already barred gay and unmarried couples and single people from hiring surrogates.

A government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the tightening of rules concerning surrogacy was to protect poor women from being exploited in the absence of legal safeguards.

Chavan, who served as a surrogate mother for two foreign couples, said her earnings through the two surrogate pregnancies ensured that her three children were able to complete their high school educations.

"Were it not for the surrogacy money, I would have had to pull them out of school," the 35-year-old said. She currently works as a nanny helping parents look after their newborn surrogate babies during the time they are waiting to obtain visas for the infants.

"This ban does not help anyone. It has closed the door for poor people like us to earn a little money," Chavan said.

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New Hope is not a medical facility. We provide only legal services and support throughout your process. Our job is to provide you with a matching surrogate mother and /or egg donor, control her, prepare legal paperwork in compliance with the Ukrainian laws and make everything smooth. We value our reputation and our main task is to protect your interests and represent you on the territory of Ukraine.

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NOTEOnly heterosexual married couples with medical indications for surrogacy are allowed to proceed. Single men/women, same sex marriages are not allowed. IPs must be free from HIV, Hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other diseases.

  • Absence of uterus (congenital or acquired)
  • Deformation of the cavity or neck of uterus in congenital malformations or as a result of diseases, under which carrying of a pregnancy is impossible
  • Synechia of the uterus that cannot be treated
  • A (severe) physical illness under which pregnancy threatens your life or health even if the child may not be in danger
  • Unsuccessful attempts of assisted reproductive technologies (4 or more).

NOTE Your doctor should indicate one of these reasons in the medical letter so that you will be able to proceed in Ukraine (otherwise the clinic won't accept you to the program). Please, contact us for more information if you have any questions regarding this report.

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