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Surrogate mothers lined up in Gujarat

A growing number of women in Anand seek to offer their wombs for the childless

— Photo: AP

MOTHERS-TO-BE: Dr. Nayana H. Patel with a group of surrogates.

Anand: This district in Gujarat, the home of Amul and the milk producers' cooperative behind it, is emerging as a magnet for childless couples: 18 women here are offering themselves as surrogate mothers.

These women, from the lower middle income group, are under the care of Dr. Nayana H. Patel, a gynaecologist using the in vitro fertilisation (IVF) method. She said at her hospital here: "Women preferring to become surrogate mothers are briefed... [They are told] they will have to hand over the child... " In IVF, the egg of the biological mother is fertilised with sperm from the father and the embryo is transferred to the womb of the surrogate.

Jyotsana Patel, 30, preparing to become a surrogate mother for a third time, said: "I opted to rent out my womb to a childless couple... I also got to make good money."

Asked why childless couples from the U.S., the U.K. and other parts of world and India prefer this method over adoption, the doctor said they keep genes and ethnic reasons in mind. Cost is a key factor too: it is much cheaper in India. According to her, agencies abroad charge $30,000 and the surrogate mother is given $15,000. She said in India surrogate mothers get between Rs 1 lakh and 2 lakhs.

— PTI

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