Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

NY Times: India Nurtures Business of Surrogate Motherhood June 1, 2010

This story makes my head spin. I need to pick a corner and say something about this, but there are so many corners to choose from, I’m going in circles.

On the one hand, I keep trying to convince myself that these women in India are happily carrying babies for wealthy Westerners because the $7,500 they’ll receive will give their own families a better life. The latter is true. It could take these women three years to earn $7,500 in a normal job. But “exploitation” is a word that won’t stay out of my mind. Would these women do this job if they weren’t desperate? There’s a whole list of exploitive ways for women to make money when they’re up against a wall. Is this job anything more than prostitution?

And of the people who use the service. Some claim they are ordinary people who couldn’t afford the $75,000 it would cost to use a U.S. surrogate; some are getting around their own country’s laws; others are just looking for a bargain. They’re all buying babies.

But I understand that maniac desire for a child; I can see how someone could see this as perfectly acceptable.

OK, I’m picking my corner now.

This is madness, utter insanity. This unbridled quest for motherhood is totally out of control. We live on an overpopulated planet; we have unwanted children all over the place, so why are we going to such extremes to create more? This has become absolute mania and at some point this bubble is going to pop. Just as the stock market had a meltdown and just as the real estate market blew itself up, I predict that somewhere down the line, the baby market is going to self-destruct. And it’s going to be a horrible unhappy mess when it does.

OK, I’m done. Going back to my room now.


6 Responses to “NY Times: India Nurtures Business of Surrogate Motherhood”

  1. sewforward Says:

    I think the the quest for ‘motherhood’ is out of control – sit through a fertility clinic consultation! It has become the ‘power of the check book’ -those who are able to participate in surrogatecy. I surely don’t fault any woman or man (for that matter) that want to have children, but it truly has evolved into an industry (an unregulated one) just like in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Who said truth was stranger than fiction never faced infertilty.

  2. Jennifer Gill Says:

    You said it perfectly, and I absolutely agree with you. It’s frightening how people refuse to think of anything but their own desires.

  3. lmanterfield Says:

    Sewforward, you just gave me goosebumps. I have added Brave New World to my list to read again. And yes, it all sound too bizarre and twisted to be real, until you’ve walked a mile in infertile shoes.

    Jennifer, after posting this I read an op-ed piece about the psychological impact on the children. I’ll dig it up an post it tomorrow.

  4. shelley Says:

    Wow, I am really surprised at how judgemental your post is. I found this site after struggling with infertility for 4 years, and contemplating childfree living. At first it was a relief to have a place to go that was safe. But after this, I feel safe no longer. Though I am not contemplating using a surrogate in India, I think it is very unfair to judge others who are. You do not know why they make their decisions or what they have gone through.

  5. lmanterfield Says:

    Hi Shelley,
    I’m sorry this post disturbed you. It’s not my intention to create a hostile environment here; there are plenty of those already out there. However, it is my intention to find news, post it for discussion, and throw in my own 2 cents.

    Having also struggled with infertility for many years, I know exactly (or at least one version of) what people go through, and I understand fully how someone can come to make this kind of decision. What rankles me most about this story is that creating human life has become such a big, cold, and now discount business. What makes me angry is that I know from my own experience that these options are being sold as miracles, not by medical practitioners looking for solutions, but by business people looking to get rich from people who are at their absolute lowest, most vulnerable, and desperate for children. This is what fuels my ire.

    I hope you’ll come back to the site, knowing that my panties aren’t always this much in a bunch.


  6. shelley Says:

    Thanks Lisa, I guess I get my back up when I feel like fellow infertiles are being judged… when others have judged me harshly for my choices in the past, it has been very hurtful. I’m sure many on this site can relate, whether they came to childfree living by choice or not?

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