Renting Wombs and the Division of Labor


Americans and Europeans are outsourcing pregnancy to India:

Driven by many of the same factors that have led Western businesses to outsource some of their operations to India in recent years, an increasing number of infertile couples from abroad are coming here in search of women…who are willing, in effect, to rent out their wombs.

The trend is evident to doctors such as Indira Hinduja, perhaps India's most prominent fertility specialist, who receives an inquiry from overseas every other week. It can also be detected on the Internet, where a young Indian woman recently posted an ad on a help-wanted website offering to carry a child for an expatriate Indian couple.

The L.A. Times article implies that demand is coming from womb bargain-hunters, since Indian surrogates clearly come cheaper than American ones. But demand from Europe and Australia must be at least partly attributable to restrictive laws that have lessened (or eliminated) the domestic supply. (In many countries, surrogacy is illegal, and in others, the option is only available to infertile married women.) European restrictions on sperm and egg donations have spawned a transnational trade in DNA; it seems likely that the same applies here.

Buy a pair of "lucky conception" socks from here.

Hat tip: Yglesias.

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  1. I suspect this is largely a hoax.

  2. So the woman provides the egg? Cool!

    I know they are only taking infertile male/female couples now, but we all know it’s just a matter of time. This service is just too valuable.

    I want an half Indian baby. I’m gonna start saving my pennies.

  3. mk,
    You may want to bone up on your biology, but, whether you get out halvsies or wholesies depends on what you put in the oven.

    I’d go for a “turn-key” operation, personally.

    I’m part Indian myself–Cherokee–and I doubt you want a piece o’ me.
    Whatever… start saving your pennies.

  4. wow this has got to be bad when india is already aborting baby girls by the truck load….but if this is real then perhaps this might change that tend. What do you need sons for when you can rent out your daughters womb for the big bucks.

  5. joshua corning,
    Every trend is a pendulum, if you look on the sunny side of life.

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