Apu at Cubically Challenged makes some interesting points in response to my post on commercial surrogacy in India. She raises some issues that hadn’t occurred to me, such as the fact that Indian women often engage in heavy work while pregnant, endangering both themselves and the child, and gives an insight into Indian culture that I was not aware of:
Indian history and culture is infact replete with stories of one mother handing over her child to another, and for completely altruistic reasons. Infact, in my parents’ generation, it was not at all uncommon for childless couples to “borrow” a child from a sibling. Very different ofcourse from carrying a child for a stranger, but what I’m saying is, the concept of surrogacy is not entirely new to India. Which probably explains why some of the women quoted in the story also see it as a good deed they are doing.
I perhaps didn’t make it clear in my post that I find it very difficult to definitively come down on either the choice or the exploitation side of the this complex issue, and Apu has certainly given me further food for thought.