The quest for parenthood is nothing new, however in our increasingly busy Western lives we are waiting longer and longer to get married and have children. The result of older motherhood has led many families to face infertility and difficulties in conceiving. The idea of having fertility treatments is no longer shocking and taboo, so should one really be shocked if India has decided to cash in on it!
India's booming baby market is thriving; with over a 100 clinics and hospitals providing treatments at a fraction of the price, at 1/5th to 1/8th, of the cost in the west, it's no surprise. The issues of surrogacy and fertility treatments raise questions of morals and ethics for many, while others just see it as a normal changing of the times. The world is full of orphaned children and many ask why not adopt if you cannot have children, international adoptions appear to be the in thing to do, especially if you're a celebrity.
Regardless of how you look at it, there is potential risk, and that risk is becoming all too clear in India as the fate of one child is now left in the hands of the courts. Der Spiegel recently looked into ‘what happens when a baby is born that suddenly belongs to no one?’, the article also looks at the trauma and heartache of one surrogate mother. The article delves into the emerging potential for social problems as India becomes a ‘baby factory’.
While the long-term social outcomes are unclear, the economic benefits to a country that is both riddled by poverty and marginalization in many of its communities clearly out way any doubt in most minds of potential surrogates. India is also an emerging business, technological and medical power house, providing those desperate for a child in the west an opportunity that they may not otherwise be able to afford back home. While one child remains a virtual orphan, many others are leaving India as one happy family.