Surrogacy as a 'booming
business' is a paradox in an emotionally driven society like India. The concept
of 'renting a womb' may touch the nerve of a conservative society since it
shakes the patriarchal ideology of 'motherhood'. Medindia interviewed Jamila
(named changed) to find out if surrogacy challenges 'motherly instinct' or if
surrogacy is genuinely a humane service that renders answers to the prayers of
childless couples around the world? Jamila carries the offspring of the
intended parents, placed in her womb through a fertility procedure called
IVF-ET (In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer).
Q. Is this your first
A: As a surrogate, yes
this is my first time, but I already have a son with my husband. Only women who
have children of their own can volunteer to be surrogate mothers.
Q. How is the surrogacy
experience different from your previous pregnancy?
A: Strange. My elder
sister is childless and I'm doing it for her. She is diabetic and has complications
Q. Has she considered
A: When it comes to
adoption, the child will not be her bloodline. Plus adoption involves a
Q. Since you are
carrying the baby how is the child not yours or your blood?
A: No, the child belongs
to them, their blood and I cannot make claims on the child. The baby will not
Q. How did you come to
know about surrogacy? What was your family's reaction?
A: My brother-in-law's
(intended parent) friend recommended and my relatives also accepted it, since I
was doing it for my sister.
Q. You are doing it for
your sister, what if someone outside the family requested you? Would you offer
to be a surrogate mother?
A: Why wouldn't I! If I
can do it for my sister, I would do it for any childless couple.
Q: Since you are
pregnant for your sister, you will be meeting the child, probably during family
occasions. Won't you be drawn to the child?
A: No, we do not meet at
all. I will have no connection with the child. They live in altogether a
Q. Are you getting paid
or are you doing it for free?
A. The payment was
negotiated with my husband and he will get the money. I don't know how much was
charged. He deals with the payment procedure.
Q. How different is the
medical treatment from your first pregnancy? Where are you staying? Does your
husband get to visit you?
A: I stay in an apartment
with my second sister here in Chennai, I come from another State. My husband
visits me and he even stayed with me twice. But I'm away from my family during
the pregnancy phase.
Q. Is your pregnancy
going to normal or cesarean?
A: My first delivery was a
cesarean, so the second will also be a cesarean.
Q. Were you counseled?
Was surrogacy explained to you? What if there are going to be any
complications? What then?
A: My family spoke to me;
the doctor counseled and even the intended parents met with me. Only if
something comes up. But I am well taken care of.
Q. Do you want to have
A: Yes. I already have a
son and we would like to have one more. Once the financial condition is stable
we will have one more child.
Q. Are you really happy
being a surrogate mother? Wouldn't you get emotional when you have to give the
A: No. I am very happy to
be pregnant for my sister and I would gladly and wholeheartedly do it for other
childless couples too.
The interview with the surrogate mother was an
intriguing experience. Throughout the interview the surrogate mother was
cheerful, co-operative and threw light on renting-a-womb from a surrogate's
point of view. Medindia wished her well.