India a surrogate mum's hub for foreign tourists

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New York, June 8 (ANI): India is turning out to be a prime destination for foreign tourists wanting to hire surrogate mothers.

It costs foreigners around 23,000 dollars, about one-fifth of the rates in US, out of which the mother is paid around 7,500 dollars in instalments.

India legalized commercial surrogacy in 2002 as a way to promote medical tourism, and is expected to generate 2.3 billion dollar each year by 2012.

However, there are some complications too, as there are several countries that deny visas to such children because they do not recognize surrogacy as an above-board means of parenthood.

This happened with twin toddlers Nikolas and Leonard Balaz, whose parents are German nationals and whose surrogate mom is a twenty something Indian woman from Gujarat.

The lack of proper implementation of surrogacy guidelines written by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) also poses a major problem.

"We are lost when there are no laws, but the people drafting the bill have to remember to take care of the clinics, too." Dr. Nayna Patel, who runs such a clinic in Gujarat, is quoted, as saying.

Taking a note of all these hitches, the Indian government is now planning to pass a bill banning IVF clinics from arranging surrogacy transactions, and calling for the establishment of an "ART bank" that would locate surrogate moms and reproductive donors.

Though the medical fraternity may not welcome any such legislation, it will surely prove to be handy for the problems faced by the parents.

The new law will not only restrict a woman to be a surrogate up to five times and would set a 35-year age limit, but at the same time, will stipulate that the foreign couple's home country would guarantee citizenship for the unborn infant. (ANI)

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