Do you need someone to carry a baby for you? For around Dh20,000, there are women in India who are willing to be surrogate mothers for couples hoping to have a child. Reports have it that the “womb on hire” industry in India is growing.
30-year-old Parvati Lal Bahadur Yep gently caresses her expanded belly as she paces the sparsely decorated room of a house in Ahmedabad, in the western Indian state of Gujarat. She signed up to be a surrogate mother, and she is eight months pregnant with twins.
Parvati is trying hard not to get too emotionally attached to the babies kicking inside her. She knows she’ll be giving them away less than an hour after they are born to a couple from South Africa she’s met just once. After all, they have paid her around Rs300,000 (Dh20,000) to carry the babies for them; an unimaginably huge amount compared to the Rs7,000 (Dh464) per month that her husband earns as a driver.
“I have my family; my three beautiful children. I don’t want any more. I’m not getting attached to these babies as I’ll be giving them away,’’ says Parvati, trying hard to mask the emotional bonds she fears she’ll develop with the unborn babies in the course of her ‘job’.
What has made Parvati sign up with an infertility clinic in Ahmedabad and give up nine months of her life with her family to stay in the home along with 60 other surrogate mothers is very clear; the money that she will get. As good as the deed may seem to the beneficiaries, only poverty could have made anyone give up 9 months to carry a baby you’d eventually give out. It might have happened in India, not sure it’d ever be welcome in Nigeria.