Australian couples desperate for children now make up one of the largest surrogacy markets internationally and India is their country of choice.
An Australian study has now found that hetrosexual couples have overtaken gay men as the biggest users of the service. Often these hetrosexual couples have been through several unsuccessful IVF attempts before turning to overseas surrogates to become parents.
Commercial surrogacy - when a woman is paid to carry a couple's child - is illegal in NSW and other states however this isn't stopping the tidal wave of Australian couples hiring overseas women to carry their babies to term.
The number of citizenship requests for children born in India has risen sharply, by more than 300 per cent over the past year.
So what's the big deal? If Australian couples want to have children but can't for whatever reason, why shouldn't we support them in any way they choose?
Because commercial surrogacy isn't properly regulated and as a result it's feared poor Indian women are being taken advantage of. Some of the women used for surrogacy are uneducated and don't understand their rights throughout the process. Earlier this year a gay couple were forced to defend their commercial surrogacy arrangement after it was found the Indian surrogate they hired was deaf and blind. The couple had to return to India to prove to authorities the woman understood the arrangement she was entering.
Majority of the time it is well worth the surrogates while and they are more than willing to do it. But this doesn't protect those women who don't understand the arrangement fully and what about the rights of the Australian couple? What legal recourse do they have if the woman ultimately decides not to hand over the child?