Rs 13,033 cr (1.5 billion pounds / 2.4 billion dollars) – that’s what experts say India’s illegal surrogacy industry is worth. Considered the surrogacy capital of the world, our biggest clients are the British. According to the Sunday Telegraph there are thousands of unregulated clinic and Brits reportedly pay an average of 25,000 pounds for each procedure.
”It is estimated that 2,000 births to surrogate mothers took place in the country last year, with most experts agreeing that Britain is the biggest single source of people who want to become parents in this way,” the report said. ”Britain may account for as many as 1,000 births last year in India. In contrast there were 100 surrogate births recorded in Britain last year”, it added. Indian women were reportedly paid up to 6,000 pounds (Rs 5.1 lakh) to either donate eggs or/and carry babies which British infertility laws ban. The report adds people bending the rules include bankers, senior civil servants, MNC execs and even National Health Service doctors.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research Guidelines dealing with surrogacy and Artificial Reproductive Techniques (ART), the only expenses that pertain to or incurred during the pregnancy period should be paid and ART centres are not allowed to be the benefactor of such payments. Also documentary evidence detailing all financial transactions of these procedures needs to be maintained. India is the surrogacy capital of the world thanks to legal loopholes, relatively low costs (Wikipedia suggests that the total is just 1/3rd the expense this procedure would cost in England) and lack of proper guidelines. Artificial reproduction techniques have become more acceptable recently thanks to Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao openly admitting that they had a baby via IVF and Vicky Donor which has really popularised sperm donation!