RENT A WOMB – ‘The incidence of surrogacy has doubled in the last three to five years’

Reena Martins | The Telegraph | 22 January 2006

Shilpa Mehta is visibly pregnant. But the baby she’s carrying is not hers. The real or genetic parents are a Scandinavian couple seated across her in the lobby of an infertility specialist’s clinic in Mumbai.

It is the first time that the couple have met Shilpa, a shy Gujarati woman in her late twenties who has her own child in tow.

Mehta is, in fact, renting her womb out to the couple for a cool Rs 4 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. She carries the couple’s embryo, created from fertilising their egg and sperm in a glass dish. The Scandinavian woman’s uterus has never allowed her to carry a baby to full term. She and her husband were put in touch with Mehta through one of Mumbai’s infertility specialists who, like many others of her ilk, serves as an intermediary between surrogates and prospective parents in India and from abroad.

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