28 May 2012

Wombs for Rent

The title is not mine, but thought it was brilliant. Apparently there is a growing industry in India of paid surrogate mothers and "baby factories" (again not my words). You can find the article here . The surrogate mother issue, along with IVF, frozen ovaries etc is a huge and complex one psychologically, ethically and legally and not one I will delve into in this short post I am attempting to write. What I found interesting in this article was not that the "customers" were gay couples - one can understand the reasons here (though I do have my opinion on this). The most interesting part was that surrogacy was preferred by some women in order to retain their figure and not go through pregnancy/childbirth. I have a deep respect for a woman's right to have or not to have children. But really? "Hiring" a womb so you don't get the extra pounds or the morning sickness? That is a recipe for motherhood disaster based on an extremely immature personality structure that can do more harm than good to the self and most importantly to the child.
What is disturbing me though in this article is the unregulated nature of these "rentals". No laws, no precautions, no suitability of the parties involved, no nothing. O.K the most cynical between us may argue that at least some money is flowing towards India from the west. But my concern here is... who are the mothers for rent? What happens to them afterwards? No one can guarantee that these women are not forced to have their bodies used this way. Are they "women" even? Or girls just getting their period? And what happens to the babies? Do they actually go to "loving western families" or are "used" for other purposes?
Forgive me for being "paranoid" but the google alerts I get everyday on motherhood show me a world where motherhood, women's bodies, babies and the trajectory that links all those together is not that "natural" any more. There is an increased perversion on how all these issues are approached and ,that, as a mother, a woman and a human being, worries me and disturbs me.

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