Centre for Social Research - New Delhi, India



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Surrogate Motherhood

This unique research study provides a nuanced analysis of the motivations, experiences and consequences of surrogacy in Anand, Surat and Jamnagar in the state of Gujarat of India. The study focuses on the reasons for the woman’s decision to become a surrogate mother and for commissioning parents to opt for surrogacy. It provides a retrospective view of the relationship between commissioning parents and surrogate mother before the pregnancy, during the pregnancy, and after the birth. Furthermore, the study analyses societal response to the commissioning parents’ decision to opt for a surrogacy service and the surrogate mother’s decision to provide a service.

The research study was conducted in three of the most prominent areas of Gujarat state (Anand, Surat, Jamnagar), where one can find the most famous clinics providing surrogacy arrangements. The sample size consisted of one hundred surrogate mothers and fifty commissioning parents and their families in three cities of Gujarat. The methodology, adopted for the study, was exploratory research using both qualitative and quantitative research tools, such as the situation analysis, the informal investigation, survey analysis and questionnaires.

The research findings indicate that in the absence of a concrete law regarding surrogacy arrangement all the three parties involved i.e. the surrogate mother, the commissioning parents and the child are subjected to the whims and caprices of handful of infertility physicians who gained the most out of this arrangement. The unfavorable socio-economic conditions make the surrogate mothers financially vulnerable to search for extra income. There is very little interaction between the surrogate mother and intended parents, who in their desperation to beget a child do not question the clinics’ dealings with their surrogate mother. The research reveals that it does not seem to be a problem for intended parents to acquire a baby through surrogacy arrangements, whereas the surrogate mother sometimes has to pay a high cost of exclusion by her family members and society. Last but not the least the child born through surrogacy arrangement also at times has to suffer due to the crisis regarding citizenship issue, divorce of intending parents or physical abnormalities. Hence, the study strongly recommends certain policy formulation for surrogacy arrangement with the enactment of a concrete law.