Childless NRI couples flock to Anand, rent wombs

Niyati Rana | The Times of India | 13 February 2006

NAND: Smita Pandya (29) is going through her third pregnancy, but is mentally distancing herself from the child. For after the baby is born, it will go to its ‘real’ parents — a childless NRI couple.

Smita, a housewife in Anand, is one of many middle-class women, who are renting out their wombs to childless NRI couples. “Why not,” Smita asks, “especially if it helps me give my own children a better future?”

In the last two years, at least 14 women have come forward in Anand alone to be surrogate mothers — or medically known as commercial in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) surrogacy.

In IVF, the egg of the biological mother is fertilised with sperms of the father in a test-tube. The embryo is then transferred into the uterus of the surrogate mother.

Says gynaecologist Nayna Patel, who has been practising IVF for seven years now, “Many childless couples prefer surrogacy to adopting a child, as the baby is genetically theirs.”

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