Surrogacy has a long history. From thousands of years, women have selected for giving birth on behalf of another woman due to many reasons. This tradition even followed in many royal families to maintain the dynasty. On that time, this tradition might not be termed as surrogacy. However, it has proven that surrogacy is not a new concept.
Surrogacy is at the booming stage, may due to the increasing trend of infertility along with the availability of advanced reproductive technology. Along with medical advancement, changes in cultural attitudes also accept the cross-border surrogacy. In the past two decades, surrogacy industrial growth is remarkably high.
In the UK, the parental order for surrogate was 121 in 2011 and reached to 368 in 2018. According to a BBC report, the current value of the surrogacy industry worth $6bn a year. However, the exact number of babies born through surrogacy is not estimated yet now.
There are two forms of surrogacy- traditional and gestational In traditional surrogacy, the egg is collected from surrogate has used to form an embryo, whereas, in gestational surrogacy, the embryo is formed from intended mother’s egg or donor egg.
In the clinical perspective, surrogacy is a convenient infertility treatment for those who cannot conceive naturally or failure of other available fertility treatment. Surrogacy is the last hope for infertile couples to become parents of their biological child. It does not involve restrictive adoption process. In most of the cases, the whole surrogacy process runs smoothly.
Surrogacy hits the headlines
Recent days, surrogacy related mistreatment including vulnerable use of women, or cost involvement related stories hit the headlines of the news. Some news reports revealed that surrogate mothers had exploited by surrogacy clinics. Surrogates have ill-treated by the surrogacy agency.
News reports also stated that financially poor or socially victim women usually targeted for surrogacy, as surrogates attracted by the payment amount. If we consider the earning of a surrogate in a country like Ukraine, then the payment amount is almost $20,000, which is almost eight times higher than the average yearly income.
News reports revealed that some surrogacy agencies refuse to pay the actual decided amount to the surrogate due to miscarry or blaming surrogates not to follow the stringent requirements.
Many countries have started to ban commercial surrogacy to stop female exploitation. This year, India passes surrogacy Bill and bans commercial surrogacy. Many countries like the UN had issued warning on commercial surrogacy last year. In this country, commercial surrogacy is considered as the ‘sale of children’.
There are different legislation varies from country to country depending upon the social values, culture, and history. Like, in Germany and France, surrogacy is considered as the dignity of women and completely ban this practice. Whereas in the UK, surrogacy is considered as a gift from one woman to another, and an “altruistic” surrogacy, where only medical expenses are payable is permissible.
A country like California, Russia, and Ukraine allow commercial surrogacy, as their social culture considered that women can participate in surrogacy depending upon their willingness. But international surrogacy is unregulated in countries like Kenya and Nigeria and may responsible for violation of surrogacy regulation.
Read Also: How does surrogacy work?
Country specific these differences have led to fertility tourism and cross-broader surrogacy. Intended parents who want to opt for surrogacy do not get the chance to do so in their own country, then they travel to other countries, where they get relaxed surrogacy -law or complete un-regulated practice.
Many courtiers like Nepal, Cambodia, India, Thailand, close the international surrogacy door to avoid the exploitation of their citizens. However, this restriction is not sufficient, because shutting off one hotspot raise another place. Therefore, universal legal legislation needs to frame for uniform surrogacy to all over the globe.
Ravi Sharma is the director at ARTbaby Global (ARThealthcare). And a successful pharmacist and a marketer. He loves to write about IVF, Surrogacy and other ART (assisted reproductive technology) news, issues, and updates. He is a Pharmacy graduate (B. Pharm) and M.B.A (marketing).