Human Exceptionalism

Cultural Imperialism: Rent a Wombs in India

Whatever happened to good old fashioned adoption? It’s still here, of course. But in our sense-of-entitlement times, why adopt when we can rent a poor woman’s uterus to gestate a baby for us? That’s seems to be a growing business in India. From the story in the New York Times:

An enterprise known as reproductive outsourcing is a new but rapidly expanding business in India. Clinics that provide surrogate mothers for foreigners say they have recently been inundated with requests from the United States and Europe, as word spreads of India’s mix of skilled medical professionals, relatively liberal laws and low prices. Commercial surrogacy, which is banned in some states and some European countries, was legalized in India in 2002. The cost comes to about $25,000, roughly a third of the typical price in the United States. That includes the medical procedures; payment to the surrogate mother, which is often, but not always, done through the clinic; plus air tickets and hotels for two trips to India (one for the fertilization and a second to collect the baby).

Meanwhile, other forms of medical tourism include buying organs from the destitute, as we have discussed here.

We are not entitled to everything we want just because we want it. Infertility is heartbreaking but so is orphancy. Poor people are not brood mares. The story warns about a potential for exploitation. This is by definition exploitation, against we in the wealthy lands of the world should turn our backs.

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