Wealthy foreigners who are not able to have children of their own are reaching out to Indian women to carry their babies for them in a peculiar baby farm business that essentially allows Indian women to offer their wombs up for rent.
According to The Daily Mail, Indian women are receiving about $8,000 per pregnancy as they carry the children of others. Though commercial surrogacy is not legal in some countries, there is not a low prohibiting it in India. Even in the countries in which surrogacy through a baby farm is legal, it can be cost prohibitive.
These baby farms in India seemingly offer the best solutions for couples who are not able to have children on their own. They pay a baby farm to find a woman to carry their baby, then nine months and thousands of dollars later they have a little bundle of joy.
Those Indian women who work for the baby farms generally come from poor backgrounds and do not live on much money, so the $8,000 or so they receive for carrying a child could make a huge difference in their lives.
The Akanksha Infertility Clinic, which is the most well-known baby farm facilitator, has been in business for about a decade. In the last 10 years, the clinic has arranged for Indian women to carry more than 700 children of foreigners — hence why it’s referred to as a baby farm.
The amount of money that these women receive from the baby farm cannot be discounted. One Indian woman who was a surrogate mother in 2009 and 2012 earned so much money from the two baby farm pregnancies that she was able to move her family from a small hut into a two-level home. Similarly, she was able to pay for a life-saving operation for her husband that she otherwise would not have been able to afford.
Even after all that, the family is still reaping the benefits from the surrogacy. Here’s what she said about it:
“We don’t actually have a source of income at the moment. We’re still living off the money from the surrogacy.”
So while the financial implications for these baby farms are obvious, the moral and ethical concerns continue to have a lot of unanswered questions.
A British woman who was unable to have children after a botched operation said this:
“When you’re from the West, you don’t do this lightly. When we did the research and visited we were reassured that the women were volunteering and it wasn’t exploitative. We’re obviously very conscious of human rights.”