Baby Factory – Boon or bane?

Few years back I had read the article “Rent a womb” (perhaps in “India Today” don’t remember exactly which magazine). I came to know about the word “Surrogacy” for the first time then. After reading that article, I was under impression that it is too complicated a process and won’t get social acceptance (at least in India). But I was proved wrong. Today the service of “renting a womb” has become a full blown business for seller and a matter of convenience or style statement of sort for buyer.

Baby FactoryCurrent edition of “India Today” magazine carries interesting article titled as “Baby Factory” on surrogacy and surrogate mothers. The article talks about “The sat Kaival Hospital & Akanksha Fertility Clinic” located in Anand, Gujarat. As per the article this clinic alone has produced (word “produced” will be bit rude but apt) 500 surrogate babies so far and per month they produce around 30 surrogate babies. After reading the article, I can’t stop thinking like whether surrogacy is boon or bane? Here are my thoughts :

Why Surrogacy is boon?

  1. Worldwide there are many unfortunate couples who because of their physical disabilities are not in position to give birth to their own babies by themselves despite of their reproductive systems being healthy. For such couples there is no alternate except surrogacy to have the baby to whom they can call their own. With advancement of medical science such couples have the option and ray of hope. So surrogacy is boon for them.

Why Surrogacy is bane?

  1. Surrogacy is very complicated process from legal and personal prospective. The lady who rents her womb for surrogacy has to go through a lot (both physically and mentally) throughout the process. Getting the social and family acceptance for renting a womb won’t be an easy thing in Indian cultural context.
  2. Also, in Indian context, lady who will agree to rent her womb will not be doing it mostly by choice but by force. Her circumstances will force her into surrogacy mostly. In most of the cases, it will be amount to exploitation of the woman who is in dire need of money for survival.
  3. The mental stigma associated with keeping baby in womb for nine months and give the baby away the moment he/she born is quiet emotional and mentally draining for any woman. So emotions kill here.
  4. Apart from this the major problem could be if any complications occur during pregnancy or if pregnancy turns out to be lethal for woman/baby or due to any circumstance if new born baby is not healthy then how to handle such situation? Main question is, Is there any law (and most importantly its implementation) in our country to protect the surrogate mother and new born baby?
  5. Is there any way to decide legitimacy of couples who can go for surrogate baby? Is the option of having surrogate baby should be available to all the couples (including same sex couples) as a matter of their personal choice?
  6. Over a period of time what will be the social repercussions of such option being used freely by couples? In today’s world “Outsourcing” is buzz word. People now believe in (or prefer to) outsourcing by spending money rather than “Do it yourself”. In today’s cut throat competitive world where women have lot of aspiration for her career (and also sort of figure conscious) why they will waste 6-12 months of time just on the process of delivering the baby when they can outsource it? Outsourcing the baby production will be done through surrogacy while upbringing of the baby will be outsourced to maids and child care centres.
  7. Also, when baby grows up and find out that his/her parents has outsourced his/her birth just for their own convenience, will it not cause a mental stigma for baby?

So all n all to me, it looks like surrogacy  is more like bane then boon. Advancement in medical science has given this wonderful option to couples but use of this option should be measured and on need basis only rather then using it for convenience.

In India, bollywood bigwigs Aamir Khan and Shahrukh khan have started the trend by choosing the options of having surrogate babies. As far as I understand, in both the cases, it was just convenience rather than any physical disabilities which drove them to opt for surrogate baby. I’m afraid people who follow these khans as their role models will also start choosing surrogacy option as a matter of convenience and style statement.

At last in my personal opinion, I would like to say journey of parenthood is worth enjoying. Treat your babies has human rather than shopping material.

For those interested, full article of India today put up below in form of images :

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All is (not) well….

Recently, “3 idiots” have created wave in bollywood grossing around 175 crore INR in it’s first week of release. It’s bumper opening and sort of record in bollywood history. Movie’s earning has definitely brought smile on the faces of producer and director however it has brought bitterness for Chetan Bhagat who claims that from his book “Five Point someone” the script of the movie has been written.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/3-idiots-movie-plot-turns-into-fight-over-story/108109-8.html?from=tn

Chetan Bhagat says that he has not been given due credit in the beginning of movie and credit is displayed only in small letters after movie finishes. In last 3-4 days charges have been traded between Chetan Bhagat and production team of movie comprising Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Raju Hirani and (surprisingly) Aamir khan.

This is the story from the production houses. Production house says that they have entered into the contract with Chetan Bhagat and money has already been paid to him to buy rights. At the same time they say that in the agreement nothing has been mentioned about how credit should be given. Script of the movie is vaguely inspired from the book “Five point someone” and script write of the movie has made lot of changes to turn the story into the script. So Chetan Bhagat has no right to make any noise.

This is what Chetan Bhagat has to say. Chetan Bhagat insists that credit should be given to him before movie starts and script writer for the movie has not done anything except portraying his book into the script.

I haven’t seen this movie yet so I can not take any side in this raw. But as an outsider, I feel like the case of Mr. Chetan Bhagat looks weak. He is fabulous writer no doubt about it but he has not taken enough care to protect his intellectual property rights. He should have clarified about his preferred way of describing credit at the time of entering into the contract with production house. Perhaps this will act as learning curve for him. As such it is very difficult to protect IP rights and very difficult to pursue the legal action with success. If your paper work is not in place, you can just make hue n cry and at worst you may face defamation suit. From Chetan Bhagat’s blog post, it is apparent that Chetan tried to settle this issue in private with production  house but they didn’t pay any heed to his request so he has to come into the public.

Now this whole issue has come out in public and now I’m eager to see whether dust settles here or someone pursues the legal course. Chetan has suggested some compromise formula on his blog in post Moving to a solution now. Hope sense prevails.

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