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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Who Speaks For the Child in India Rent a Womb Contracts?



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Destitute women in India are the targets of biological colonialism, in which (mostly) Westerners pay brokers to hire the wombs of women to bear the children of well off women who either cant, or don’t want to, themselves.  Now, an Indian public policy journal asks what are the rights of the children of such surrogacy contracts.  For example, what if the renters decide they don’t want to take the product home?  From “Who Speaks for the Child in a Surrogacy?”:

The ICMR guidelines require a child to be born out of a surrogacy be mandatorily adopted. The guidelines run on a presumption that the child must be genetically related to the intending parents as they require that surrogacy be sought for by “married couples”. However, this might not always be the case as the foetus could be borne out of donor gametes where couples suffer from infertility.

Not only that, but there is the eugenics phenomenon at work these days, with beautiful and brilliant young women paid a lot of money for their eggs.

More to the point, that assumes India can force the adoption.  If parents from the UK or USA refuse to take the child, or indeed, even pick him or her up, what happens?  There have already been a few such cases, and the result was the child was placed in an orphanage.

According to the article, current law does not place responsibility for the safety and welfare of the child between birth and adoption–sort of a child without parents. Good grief.

A bill is pending to better regulate the practice, but it has problems:

An analysis of the Bill vis-a-vis the child clearly shows that the same open-endedness, as in the ICMR Guidelines exists. The Bill lacks proper mechanisms to ensure that the commissioning parents are liable in case they refuse to embrace the baby. This flaw is further heightened in cases where parents refuse to accept this child in case of post partum discovery of the physical or mental disability of the child.

Again, what is the government going to do in such cases: Try and chase the scofflaw parents down in their home countries?  And how long would that take even if it could be done?

Rather than try to fix the problems with India’s rent a womb industry, it would be better to outlaw it. Destitute women should not be viewed as so many uteri for rent. Moreover as I have reported, it has already cost at least one life, leaving the woman’s own children orphaned.



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