Indian fertility clinics have seen a stark rise in the number of women enquiring to become surrogate mothers, according to a leading Indian fertility expert
According to Dr Samit Sekhur, executive director and embryologist at the Kiran Infertility Centre, Hyderabad, there has been a ten-fold increase in the number of women stepping forward to help couples in need of a surrogate.
He told the Times of India the reason for the influx was due to their husband losing their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic: “Inquiries from women wanting to become surrogates has increased up to ten-fold during the pandemic.
“Earlier, we used to get about two inquiries a day on average. Now we get up to ten per day.”
A survey of 100 women conducted at the Kiran centre last year revealed that the majority of them had turned into donors or surrogates to make up for their husbands’ loss of income.
It is believed that surrogate mothers earn between five and 6.5 Lakh and stay at the facility for the duration of the pregnancy so that fertility specialists can monitor every aspect of the surrogate mother’s health and mental wellbeing.
Intended parents often offer an extra incentive, with one couple paying for an iPad for the surrogate mother’s biological son.
Surrogacy in India will change soon with the introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2019 with commercial surrogacy becoming outlawed.
It will allow altruistic surrogacy for mothers who have close ties to the intended parents.
It is expected to have a huge impact on the surrogacy industry in India, which currently brings in about $400 million.