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Author Topic: Pregnancy becomes latest job outsourced to India  (Read 3037 times)
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« on: Jan 01, 2008 07:39 PM »


Wow are there words for this? Shocked  !!! Anyone remember the Handmaid's Tale!!

====================================================

Pregnancy becomes latest job outsourced to India
Associated Press



ANAND, India — Every night in this quiet western Indian city, 15 pregnant women prepare for sleep in the spacious house they share, ascending the stairs in a procession of ballooned bellies, to bedrooms that become a landscape of soft hills.

A team of maids, cooks and doctors looks after the women, whose pregnancies would be unusual anywhere else but are common here. The young mothers of Anand, a place famous for its milk, are pregnant with the children of infertile couples from around the world.

The small clinic at Kaival Hospital matches infertile couples with local women, cares for the women during pregnancy and delivery, and counsels them afterward. Anand's surrogate mothers, pioneers in the growing field of outsourced pregnancies, have given birth to roughly 40 babies.

More than 50 women in this city are now pregnant with the children of couples from the United States, Taiwan, Britain and beyond. The women earn more than many would make in 15 years. But the program raises a host of uncomfortable questions that touch on morals and modern science, exploitation and globalization, and that most natural of desires: to have a family.

Dr. Nayna Patel, the woman behind Anand's baby boom, defends her work as meaningful for everyone involved.

"There is this one woman who desperately needs a baby and cannot have her own child without the help of a surrogate. And at the other end there is this woman who badly wants to help her (own) family," Patel said. "If this female wants to help the other one ... why not allow that? ... It's not for any bad cause. They're helping one another to have a new life in this world."

Experts say commercial surrogacy — or what has been called "wombs for rent" — is growing in India. While no reliable numbers track such pregnancies nationwide, doctors work with surrogates in virtually every major city. The women are impregnated in-vitro with the egg and sperm of couples unable to conceive on their own.

Commercial surrogacy has been legal in India since 2002, as it is in many other countries, including the United States. But India is the leader in making it a viable industry rather than a rare fertility treatment. Experts say it could take off for the same reasons outsourcing in other industries has been successful: a wide labor pool working for relatively low rates.

Critics say the couples are exploiting poor women in India — a country with an alarmingly high maternal death rate — by hiring them at a cut-rate cost to undergo the hardship, pain and risks of labor.

"It raises the factor of baby farms in developing countries," said Dr. John Lantos of the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, Mo. "It comes down to questions of voluntariness and risk."

Patel's surrogates are aware of the risks because they've watched others go through them. Many of the mothers know one another, or are even related. Three sisters have all borne strangers' children, and their sister-in-law is pregnant with a second surrogate baby. Nearly half the babies have been born to foreign couples while the rest have gone to Indians.

Ritu Sodhi, a furniture importer from Los Angeles who was born in India, spent $200,000 trying to get pregnant through in-vitro fertilization, and was considering spending another $80,000 to hire a surrogate mother in the United States.

"We were so desperate," she said. "It was emotionally and financially exhausting."

Then, on the Internet, Sodhi found Patel's clinic.

After spending about $20,000 — more than many couples because it took the surrogate mother several cycles to conceive — Sodhi and her husband are now back home with their 4-month-old baby, Neel. They plan to return to Anand for a second child.

"Even if it cost $1 million, the joy that they had delivered to me is so much more than any money that I have given them," said Sodhi. "They're godsends to deliver something so special."

Patel's center is believed to be unique in offering one-stop service. Other clinics may request that the couple bring in their own surrogate, often a family member or friend, and some place classified ads. But in Anand the couple just provides the egg and sperm and the clinic does the rest, drawing from a waiting list of tested and ready surrogates.

Young women are flocking to the clinic to sign up for the list.

Suman Dodia, a pregnant, baby-faced 26-year-old, said she will buy a house with the $4,500 she receives from the British couple whose child she's carrying. It would have taken her 15 years to earn that on her maid's monthly salary of $25.

Dodia's own three children were delivered at home and she said she never visited a doctor during those pregnancies.

"It's very different with medicine," Dodia said, resting her hands on her hugely pregnant belly. "I'm being more careful now than I was with my own pregnancy."

Patel said she carefully chooses which couples to help and which women to hire as surrogates. She only accepts couples with serious fertility issues, like survivors of uterine cancer. The surrogate mothers have to be between 18 and 45, have at least one child of their own, and be in good medical shape.

Like some fertility reality show, a rotating cast of surrogate mothers live together in a home rented by the clinic and overseen by a former surrogate mother. They receive their children and husbands as visitors during the day, when they're not busy with English or computer classes.

"They feel like my family," said Rubina Mandul, 32, the surrogate house's den mother. "The first 10 days are hard, but then they don't want to go home."

Mandul, who has two sons of her own, gave birth to a child for an American couple in February. She said she misses the baby, but she stays in touch with the parents over the Internet. A photo of the American couple with the child hangs over the sofa.

"They need a baby more than me," she said.

The surrogate mothers and the parents sign a contract that promises the couple will cover all medical expenses in addition to the woman's payment, and the surrogate mother will hand over the baby after birth. The couples fly to Anand for the in-vitro fertilization and again for the birth. Most couples end up paying the clinic less than $10,000 for the entire procedure, including fertilization, the fee to the mother and medical expenses.

Counseling is a major part of the process and Patel tells the women to think of the pregnancy as "someone's child comes to stay at your place for nine months."

Kailas Gheewala, 25, said she doesn't think of the pregnancy as her own.

"The fetus is theirs, so I'm not sad to give it back," said Gheewala, who plans to save the $6,250 she's earning for her two daughters' education. "The child will go to the U.S. and lead a better life and I'll be happy."

Patel said none of the surrogate mothers has had especially difficult births or serious medical problems, but risks are inescapable.

"We have to be very careful," she said. "We overdo all the health investigations. We do not take any chances."

Health experts expect to see more Indian commercial surrogacy programs in coming years. Dr. Indira Hinduja, a prominent fertility specialist who was behind India's first test-tube baby two decades ago, receives several surrogacy inquiries a month from couples overseas.

"People are accepting it," said Hinduja. "Earlier they used to be ashamed but now they are becoming more broadminded."

But if commercial surrogacy keeps growing, some fear it could change from a medical necessity for infertile women to a convenience for the rich.

"You can picture the wealthy couples of the West deciding that pregnancy is just not worth the trouble anymore and the whole industry will be farmed out," said Lantos.

Or, Lantos said, competition among clinics could lead to compromised safety measures and "the clinic across the street offers it for 20% less and one in Bangladesh undercuts that and pretty soon conditions get bad."

The industry is not regulated by the government. Health officials have issued non-binding ethical guidelines and called for legislation to protect the surrogates and the children.

For now, the surrogate mothers in Anand seem as pleased with the arrangement as the new parents.

"I know this isn't mine," said Jagrudi Sharma, 34, pointing to her belly. "But I'm giving happiness to another couple. And it's great for me."
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 01, 2008 09:18 PM »

No there aren't words for this.... well nice words anyway.   Yes I remember watching the Handmaid's Tale.

I find so many problems with this and it's not far fetched to think that eventually the rich or super career women or the ultra vain will opt for having a surrogate carry their baby so they don't have to go through pregnancy. 

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« Reply #2 on: Jan 02, 2008 07:06 AM »

Baby farming?? Man thats just so... whack.
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 03, 2008 07:00 PM »


Ok, here I am, the odd one again but I see this a different way.
First don't you all agree that things happen one of two ways?
1) Either Allah will's it or 2) Allah permits it?
If that is the case would any of these births come to existance if
Allah did not will or allow it?

As a middle aged women who always wanted more kids
and a woman who has known times of great struggle supporting
my children by myself, I see both sides of the coin and both
sides benefitted.

1) There are women who can't have their own children who would make great parents.
2) There are women in  India who would never get a head in life and who would have
to work 15 years as a maid to make what she could in 10 months thus allowing
her to buy a home, help elderly family members and go to school to learn a trade where
she can better suppory herself.

Another view is this, we claim Allah to be the only one to judge yet I find many, including
myself at times to be one to jump on the band wagon (sort to speak)
and judge another motives and most times we don't even know those people.
And never will. How can we judge another whose heart,  intentions, thoughts and soul
we do not know?

Maybe due to my life experience and nearing my 50's I see things differently
than those in their 20's and 30's, I too was more critical of such issues when
I was younger and now look upon things with more mercy and compassion
and leave it to Allah to judge others while praying for mercy for those whom I could judge
and my own self.
After all, if we put our trust in Allah can this situation be in any better hands?
I think not!


aziza purplehijabisis
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 03, 2008 09:55 PM »




I have to agree with Sr. Aziza. 

There are couples who desperately want to have children and for some medical reason cannot -
for them, this is a blessing!

Allah knows best.




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« Reply #5 on: Jan 04, 2008 01:19 AM »

salams,

Well first we know that surrogate pregnancies (where another woman carries the child of someone else) is not allowed in Islam.  (In vitro is allowed but it must be between a married husband and wife.)

The argument that "Allah willed" these children doesn't work. Does Allah will incest too? or murder? or rape? Yet those things happen. What does it mean that Allah "wills" something and that Allah "allows" it to take place? Perhaps this is a problem with the English language where to will something means you wanted it and make it take place. Yet Allah does not want us to do wrong and oppress others on the Earth.

Second this is just wrong... this is like saying it's ok to buy body parts from these poor people. Either way it's exploitation. Yes people are selling their body parts for money, and yes these women are selling their children for money, and yes women even rent out their bodies for money in prostitution. And yes they do this to live or "get ahead" or whatever, but it still doesn't make it right.

This has nothing to do with adoption. Any of those 'poor' women who can't have children should just go to these third world countries and take a look around at the abject poverty and hopelessness children live through. Are there no more orphans in the world? If these rich women with no children were actually so altruistic they would help these women without buying them as slaves to have their children.

It is heartbreaking when a woman cannot have a child, but to go to a third world country and find the poorest most abject women to exploit is morally reprehensible.

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« Reply #6 on: Jan 04, 2008 06:50 AM »


Jannah, I do see your point.
And agree to some extent.
But if the women are not being forced
and none of their DNA (ie their own eggs) are being used
what's the big deal?

But then again I can see that there may also be reasons that Allah doesn't allow
a women or a man to have a child.
Hard call isn't it?
I personally know two women who (none Muslims)
adopted cause they couldn't get pregnent for years
and after adopting a child became pregnent.
Maybe it was meant for that child to be homed with that family and Alllah
knew if that person had children they would never consider adopting.
Although isn't adoption frowned upon in Islam?
As far as the changing of parenthood and name?

Aziza purplehijabisis
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 04, 2008 02:04 PM »

 peace be upon you

Adption is most definitely not frowned upon in Islam, it is considered a very big act of charity.

An adopted child tho, must islamically be allowed to keep it's family name, in islam a child adopted cannot carry the name of anyone other than it's real father, so the child will grow up knowing he/she was adopted, not neccessarily a bad thing, as some children are not told they are adopted and then when they are get very upset about it.

An adopted child doesn't automatically inherit from it's adopted parents either, but the parents can give the child money if they so choose.

I'm sure there'll be someone along shortly more articulate and better versed than I on the matter.

I personally find this method of surrogacy is a way of exploiting these women, I bet you they are incredibly poor and have no other choice, it's prolly seen as easy money for them, but then the reality of stretch marks, engorged breasts and no baby to feed, the emotional effects of having to give up a child you carried for 9 months- and I defy any woman to remain nonchalant about a life she has nurtered in her womb for nine months......... It's all hideous, I am sure the people who purchase this #rent a womb' service are desperate, but not as desperate as the women doing it.

And before anyone jumps on me for being unfeeling, I speak as a woman who suffered from fertility problems for years.

Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 04, 2008 04:47 PM »

salaam,

I'm not going to judge the women carrying these babies or the ones paying for the surrogacy stuff. Plus, I didnt realize Surrogacy was disallowed in Islam?? This is news to me. I guess I should go read up on this some. Smiley

Anyway, this reminded me of a song from this Gilbert and Sullivan Play/Musical- the "HMS Pinafore". All the songs from this play have stuck in my head since I was in elementary school:).  salaams!


A many years ago,
When I was young and charming,
As some of you may know,
I practiced baby-farming.

Two tender babes I nussed,
One was of low condition,
The other, upper crust,
A regular patrician.

Oh, bitter is my cup ! Now, this is the position : One was of low condition, The other a patrician,
However could I do it ?
I mixed those children up,
And not a creature knew it.

But. In time each little waif
Forsook his foster mother
The well-born babe was Ralph,
Your captain was the other ! ! !


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« Reply #9 on: Jan 04, 2008 08:03 PM »

salams,

It is heartbreaking when a woman cannot have a child, but to go to a third world country and find the poorest most abject women to exploit is morally reprehensible.


dudette,

um....a lot of women in the developing world would not call this exploitation...if paid enough...

they would find it a pretty good deal -- its just something unfortunate since folks in the west are sooo much richer...that they can do this...

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« Reply #10 on: Jan 04, 2008 10:55 PM »

Another aspect that makes this horrific for me is that it is a business - not just for the individual women that are renting out their wombs for money but also for the clinic and its staff.  Further only select women are able to avail themselves of this opportunity, so not all women who are in need of the money are able to benefit from the money to be made nor the quality pre-natal care provided.  The total inequitable distribution of wealth is the bigger, underlying problem that needs to be fixed permanently and not with any form of "band-aid" approach.

As has been indicated the people who are utilizing this service want a child but also want that child at a discount rate.  We cannot place a monetary value on a baby - they are priceless.  There is no price that would ever be enough to compensate a woman for enduring pregnancy, labor and delivery.  If there was, where do I collect my check for being the mother of 3?  I mean who wants to go through months of endless "morning" sickness, and endure inhumane pain, etc. for the fun and joy of it. 

Even in the US when surrogate mothers are used there have been cases where the surrogate has changed her mind, or there were complications and so she didn't receive the money she was supposed to, or as a result her own marriage failed.  So in these instances the pain outweighed the benefit.  Nothing has been said about if the child is born with a genetic defect.  The surrogate isn't responsible but if the buyers don't want the child then what happens?  (Okay I know speculation, but valid speculation).

I agree that there are so many children right here in the US that are without parents and a home.  They are no less deserving of such yet often they age out of the system with no one to care for or love them.  While I may not always agree with a lot of the things that some celebrities do, at least the likes of Angelina Jolie and Mia Farrow that adopted children from around the world shows that they care about the children already living and while they can't help them all they try to help some.

Fa'izah
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« Reply #11 on: Jan 06, 2008 07:00 PM »

um....a lot of women in the developing world would not call this exploitation...if paid enough...

they would find it a pretty good deal -- its just something unfortunate since folks in the west are sooo much richer...that they can do this...

Do you think prostitution is not exploitation either? Why do we find that wrong and oppressive towards women in the end and not this? What about rich western men going to third world countries for prostitution? You could say the prostitute and the man have entered into an agreement and both have done it out of their free will, both are receiving a benefit and no one is getting hurt right. Both are "temporarily" using a woman's body for money.

This is a really good case of, were it not for divine law, because of subjectiveness we might have allowed things like this!  puke
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« Reply #12 on: Jan 06, 2008 10:17 PM »


-- its just something unfortunate since folks in the west are sooo much richer...that they can do this...


Why do so many thing we're 'so' much richer?
How about I let you in on a little secret, there are many rich people in the Middle East and Africa
and Europe, etc.
And if you're speaking about Americans?
We are not rich at all. We are a very dependant people if you think about it really.
We may live like what may be seen like kings and queens to those in poorer countries but
those people in poorer countries don't have a huge mortgage, a car payment, pay auto insurance
and own a slew of debt. (Credit cards, etc)
Our cars take 5 to 7 yrs to own outright, our homes 30 years.
Instead of enjoying life many are stressed working so much to make sure payments are made.
And from the things I personally value in life, that to me looks pretty pathetic.
We make more but we pay out more also.
Most average cheap 1 bdrm apts are 500. a month.
Most in poorer countries don't make that in a year.
Oh and don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's all our fault.
But many look rich on the outside are poor in many other ways and many financially also.

 purplehijabisis
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« Reply #13 on: Jan 07, 2008 01:13 AM »

Honestly I don't think westerners and by that I mean those of us who live in Canada, the US, UK, maybe Australia and some other European countries and perhaps Japan can ever understand what poverty really is. We need to go and live for decades in the poorest of third world countries to really understand it. Western nations have the highest standard of living in the world. We have 90% of the world's wealth and use something like 80% of the world's resources. Sure we have mortgages, credit card debt, auto insurance to pay, high levels of stress, we work the most hours and so on. But, we do have a house, car, and credit cards. Other people don't even have that. They don't have homes or even shacks, they live in slums or on the street, they die or continually suffer from simple illnesses that could be cured so easily if they only had some money. They suffer from natural disasters and receive no disaster relief money. There is no medical system, no government social welfare. They don't have clean water to drink. They barely have electricity. They watch their children starve because they don't have money for food. There is no way any of us living in the west can say we are poor, because compared to others we're just not. Yes, we have our own problems, struggles and tests and of course that's the whole point of us being here on earth. Poverty is a test and wealth is a test. 

This is an interesting report to read from the UN about the World Distribution of Household Wealth, where they define wealth as real property + financial assets – debts: UN Report


Code:
Got $2,200? In this world, you're rich

A global study reveals an overwhelming wealth gap, with the world's three richest people having more money than the poorest 48 nations combined.

By MarketWatch

The richest 2% of the world's population owns more than half of the world's household wealth.

You may believe you've heard this statistic before, but you haven't: For the first time, personal wealth -- not income -- has been measured around the world. The findings may be surprising, for what makes people "wealthy" across the world spectrum is a relatively low bar.

The research indicates that assets of just $2,200 per adult place a household in the top half of the world's wealthiest. To be among the richest 10% of adults in the world, just $61,000 in assets is needed. If you have more than $500,000, you're part of the richest 1%, the United Nations study says. Indeed, 37 million people now belong in that category.

Half live on less than $2 a day

Sure, you can now be proud that you're rich. But take a moment to think about it, and you'll probably come to realize that the meaning behind these numbers is harrowing. For if it takes just a couple of thousand dollars to qualify as rich in this world, imagine what it means to be poor.

Half the world, nearly 3 billion people, live on less than $2 a day. The three richest people in the world –- Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, investor Warren Buffett and Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helú -- have more money than the poorest 48 nations combined.

Even relatively developed nations have low thresholds of per person capital. For example, people in India have per capita assets of $1,100. In Indonesia, capital amounts to $1,400 per person. The study's authors defined net worth as the value of people's physical and financial assets, less debts.

"In this respect, wealth represents the ownership of capital," the authors say. "Although capital is only one part of personal resources, it is widely believed to have a disproportionate impact on household well-being and economic success, and more broadly on economic development and growth."

That said, it's interesting to look at how those at different economic levels manage their capital.

Property, particularly land and farm assets, are more important in less developed countries because of the greater importance of agriculture and because financial institutions are immature.

The study also reveals the differences in the types of financial assets owned. Savings accounts are strongly featured in transition economies and some rich Asian countries, while stock and other types of financial products are more commonplace in Western nations.

The authors say there is a stronger preference for saving and liquidity in Asian countries because of lack of confidence in financial markets. That isn't so much the case in the United States and the United Kingdom, which have private pensions and more-developed financial markets, they say.

High incomes, negative net worth

Surprisingly, household debt is relatively unimportant in poor countries because, the study says, "while many poor people in poor countries are in debt, their debts are relatively small in total. This is mainly due to the absence of financial institutions that allow households to incur large mortgage and consumer debts, as is increasingly the situation in rich countries"

Meanwhile, "many people in high-income countries have negative net worth and -- somewhat paradoxically -- are among the poorest people in the world in terms of household wealth."

But let's not feel too bad about ourselves, even if we do have a negative savings rate. The average wealth in the United States is $144,000 per person. In Japan, it's $181,000. Overall, wealth is mostly concentrated in North America, Europe and high-income Asia-Pacific countries. People in these countries collectively hold almost 90% of total world wealth.

The world's total wealth is valuated at $125 trillion. Although North America has only 6% of the world's adult population, it accounts for 34% of household wealth.

So be grateful for where you live in the world; it directly correlates to how much you have. But don't bask in superiority: The fastest-growing population of wealthy people is in China.

Look out when this population transitions from saving to spending. It's going to dramatically change the composition of the world economy, and it may just help prevent the world from becoming more of an plutocracy than it already is.


You can also try this: http://www.globalrichlist.com/ it tells you how rich you are compared to the rest of the world based on income. Yes people have debts, but those are debts they chose to have. Try it it's interesting.
 
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 07, 2008 03:10 PM »

 peace be upon you

what madness, didnt know this was happening in that part of the world.
women should accept if they cant have a child the natural way, they not meant to be mothers their is a hikmah behind this. they are suppose to do something else with their lives......perhaps for them better than being a mother.
there is also another issue of children bought in this world this way, the couple who desperately want a baby tend to in most cases spoil that child rotten and end up with little brats. i heard of so many stories like this
subhanAllah may Allah SWT guide them
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« Reply #15 on: Jan 08, 2008 02:38 AM »

Asalaamu alaikum,

I think the way the article is written, it makes the reader feel for the people on both ends in the article and makes you want to justify it.  But I'm sure soon enough there will be another article out there, if it isn't already, about the downside of this practice.  And I highly doubt that all those women are left without any emotional scars.  Couseling or no counseling, its not that easy to carry a baby for 9 months and just give it away.

I agree, this is similar to prostitution.

And I can't remember where I heard this, but when you allow another man's sperm (who is not your husband) to be in your body, isn't that considered zinna?  Sorry I can't give a source but I remember learning that.
blackrose
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« Reply #16 on: Jan 08, 2008 11:57 PM »

If you cant have a child then adopt one.. there are many children out there who need you. You will also be extremely rewarded. Yes I do think it is sick.. as a woman may fall in love with the baby in her stomach.. some pregnancies are extremely bad also. If you want to hire these woman then hire them as a maid and educate them ect ect.
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« Reply #17 on: Oct 21, 2008 03:33 PM »

Salaams

I feel that there are so many poor or homeless children in the world in need of a decent home, is there really a need to make more to adopt when there is enough kids out there already.
cheese
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« Reply #18 on: Oct 21, 2008 07:36 PM »

"When the slave-girl gives birth to her mistress and when desert Arabs compete with one another in building high rise buildings."
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