Oprah Winfrey recently featured surrogacy costs on an hour-long version of her highly popular TV program. During the program, Oprah introduced a couple pursuing surrogacy via a surrogate in India. She went on to explore the lives and situations of several surrogates in India and the surrogacy process.
Oprah was making the point that surrogacy costs of $70,000-$80,000 per case in the United States has driven many would-be parents needing surrogacy to search out lower cost alternatives. She stated a cost of $12,000 per case in India, seemingly including $6,000 for the surrogate (as compared to about $25,000+ for the surrogate in the United States).
Notwithstanding the considerable press that surrogacy in India has been receiving of late, including the above mentioned Oprah show, there are many questions that should be raised before Intended Parents go off to India in search of a low cost solution as follows:
- Can the Intended Parents afford the time and cost to spend extensive time in India, especially in potentially less than highly desirable conditions?
- There may very well be prospective health issues related to pursuit of a surrogate in India, as opposed to in the United States
- Can the legal issues be as clear-cut in India as in the United States regarding the all important matter of parentage and other related concerns?
- The Ob/Gyn system in India is not likely to be up to the standards of the United States regarding medical treatment of the surrogate during pregnancy and birth.
- There are likely to be some or perhaps extensive language issues in India, making it difficult to communicate among the parties involved.
In short, those who are serious about having a baby and who can find a way to afford it, are surely much better off pursuing one in the United States, particularly in the states friendly to surrogacy such as California, Texas and Florida. One should not sell short the obvious risks and perhaps some not so obvious risks in the pursuit of an Indian surrogacy alternative.
Please feel free to post your views on this important surrogacy issue.
Click on the link below to see the Oprah recap.
Tough Economy Tightens Surrogacy Market Reproductive Justice and Gender AlterNet