Birth pangs over for Malayali surrogate mothers
By Pramod Thomas | ENS | Published: 10th November 2013 10:42 AM |
Thirty-year-old Suman, who hails from Thrissur, has been married for 12 years and has four children. After their first child’s birth, her husband became an alcoholic and lost his job. She became a victim of domestic violence and even contemplated suicide. This was when she decided to get pregnant again, but not with her husband’s child. She decided to become a surrogate mother, and with the rent of her womb she bought a small house and brought her family back on track. Suman is the new face of Malayali women, as statistics suggest that the number of Kerala women choosing to become surrogate mothers has been showing a steady rise over the years. “It seems women in Kerala have overcome the initial social stigma which had prevented them from becoming surrogate mothers. Even four years ago, it was difficult to get a surrogate mother from the state, but things seem to be changing now. Irrespective of religion and region, women are increasingly opting for this route. Most of these women hail from lowerclass families. At present, we are looking after 10 surrogate mothers, two of whom are from Kerala,” said Dr Mani, director of Gyno IVF and Infertility Centre here. As per the records of a prominent IVF clinic in Kerala, 500 applications are pending before it from women who want to become surrogate mothers. Out of this, 30 percent of applications are from Kerala. A couple has to shell out anything between Rs 8-14 lakh in Kerala if they opt for surrogacy. The surrogate mother is paid around `4 lakh. According to a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) estimate, the value of the ‘rent a womb’ business in India is about Rs 13,800 crore.