Rise in number of British couples seeking ‘wombs for hire’ abroad

Outsourcing has crossed the line of ethics and morals on the issue of surrogacy.  Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person.  And people are being exploited to provide for the booming surrogacy demand.  This gives rise too to concerns on child trafficking.  


Wealthy British couples who cannot have children are increasingly seeking “wombs for hire” from women overseas, according to figures obtained by The Independent.

The number of couples formally registering children born to foreign surrogates has nearly tripled in five years – from 47 in 2007 to 133 in 2011.  While the figures are still relatively small, experts say they understate the true scale of the trade which is driven by agencies operating in countries such as India, drawn by a lack of red tape and the absence of regulation.  

Events such as the Alternative Families Show, which acts as a showcase for surrogacy agencies overseas, regularly draw large crowds. The impact can be seen in the increasing numbers of wealthy British couples who are going abroad where there are fewer restrictions and a surrogate womb can be rented from £10,000 to £20,000. Some do so after trying and failing to have a baby by in-vitro fertilisation, directed by doctors who have been treating them.

Marilyn Crawshaw, senior lecturer in the University of New York’s Department of Social Policy, said that “U.S. social workers have warned that the decline in inter-country adoption may be leading to its replacement by global surrogacy as the preferred route for those wanting to build their family with a ‘healthy’ infant but with less concerns among professionals as to associated ethical dilemmas and human rights concerns”.


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