By MELISSA WELLHAM
You can rent or hire almost anything in life. Cars. Houses. Cleaners. Dates.
And you can also rent wombs.
BBC ran a documentary last week, in which they investigated a ‘house of surrogates’ in India: a venture where poverty-stricken women are paid to carry babies for the wealthy foreigners.
So-called ‘commercial surrogacy’ is an industry worth over 1 billion pounds each year in India alone. But the practice isn’t popular with everyone, and these set-ups have been condemned as ‘baby-making factories’ by those who oppose them.
Vasanti is one of the women in India who has agreed to become a surrogate. She is 28-years-old, and has two children of her own, aged five and seven. Vasanti is receiving her payment in installments, and it exceeds her husband’s income by about $40 a month.
This makes a huge difference for the family. They are planning to build a new house, and send their kids to an expensive, English-speaking school.
“In India families are close. You are ready to do anything for your children,” Vasanti says. “To see my children get everything I ever dreamt of, that’s why I have become a surrogate … I’m happy from the bottom of my heart.”
Surrogate mothers spend the whole 9 months of the pregnancy inside a type of commune after they have been impregnated with the embryo made from the sperm and egg from the genetic parents. There are approximately 10 surrogate mothers in each room, and women have meals and vitamins delivered to them daily.