SurrogacyIndia’s focus is in fertility, not infertility. Making babies, is possible. ‘Possible’ is what we believe in.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Surrogacy, women entangled in the ‘strings attached’

‘Baby bump’, considered a metaphor for pregnancy, is so synonymous to these surrogate women that their face is never remembered.

The concept of surrogacy (technically ‘Assisted Reproductive Technologies’) has many facets.

It is taboo to discuss for the conservative circles and a cash cow for the fertility industry comprising agents and the clinics taking up In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), but finally, it is a source of inexplicable pain and harassment for the target women.

‘Medical tourism’

The wish of the privileged to have baby as per their choice often takes a toll on the poorer women in the society’s underbelly.

‘Can we see the baby bump please?’ a 41-minute-film directed by Surabhi Sharma, highlights the concealed side of ‘medical tourism’, a refined term for commercial surrogacy. The film also captures the mood of the women going for ‘reproductive labour’ in tune with the wish of the couples engaging their services.

Palpable frustration

When the film was screened before civil society groups, sex workers, stigmatised women and positive women, besides the Women and Child Welfare officials at Chittoor on Wednesday, their first reaction was palpable frustration on how the lives of women could become so valueless. “Though the concept is new to us, it is hardly different from ours,” said a sex worker, who found striking similarity in the case of the woman, who had been led into commercial surrogacy by her own spouse.

Another wondered if the women’s lives were covered under insurance and what would be their fate in case of a miscarriage.

‘If there is no suitable law, how will her death be compensated?’ asked the worried third.

“Domestic hands are the common target groups, as the ‘carriers’ are required to be from the poorer sections in need of money, but not physically too weak,” explain Anindita and Simran of ‘Sama’, the Delhi-based resource group for women and health that arranged the film screening.

In fact, this is the first screening in Andhra Pradesh, while it has already been shown in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu, apart from USA, Germany and Sri Lanka.

Organised system

Admitting that surrogacy cannot be wished away and a ban will make it more surreptitious, Sama demands an organised system in place and effective monitoring mechanism to ensure the health and rights of the women getting into surrogacy.


No comments: