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Poverty not the force behind choosing to be a surrogate mother: Survey

New Delhi: A recent survey reveals that poverty is not the force behind choosing to be a surrogate mother as most of them and their husbands were already earning modest income.

Surrogacy (Photo: SCI Healthcare)In fact, the main reason was that surrogacy gives the surrogate mothers an opportunity to invest in something that was not possible with what they were earning.

Paying off loan, getting better housing facility, providing better education for their children and health treatment of their family members were the prime reasons for the surrogate mothers to sign in for surrogacy, according to the survey.

The findings are based on a survey conducted by the Fertility Care India (FCI), an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Bank; New Life Fertility Clinic India – ART Bank in New Delhi; ANA Med ART Bank, New Delhi and Amma NGO / Kiran Infertility Centre, Hyderabad on 174 surrogate mothers from all over India.

“As the issue of surrogacy has always been shrouded by various concerns, the survey gives it an all new dimension by bringing forward views of the surrogate mothers, their experiences and bursts the popular myth that they are coerced in any form or manner,” said Dr Samit Sekhar from Kiran Infertility Centre.

According to the researchers, the surrogate mothers were asked to fill a questionnaire, the results of which have compelled to delve deeper in issues like the reasons to enrol to be a surrogate mother, problems the surrogate mothers faced from families, where would they put in the money received after the surrogacy completion and what emotional and other changes do they go through during the whole contract period.

Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour, founder and director, Surrogacy Centre India (SCI) Healthcare, New Delhi, told India Medical Times, “There are many myths about surrogacy and surrogate mothers. This is in part because of the paucity of publications and data on this topic.”

“To our knowledge this is the largest survey of surrogate mothers in India and the first where they and their friends have written down answers themselves. This is also the first survey of surrogate mothers from the South of India,” said Saurabh Kumar, founder of FCI ART Bank and Sonia Arora, director of New Life India.

Shedding light on the objectives of the survey Dr Gour said, “Our surrogate mothers are generous women and deserve to be treated with great respect. In a country where infertility is a curse and where women need to be financially secured and empowered surrogacy is a boon for them and for the infertile couples and single parents who experience the joys of parenthood.”

“The surrogate mothers need to be viewed with an open mind. You can close the windows and darken your room or you can open the windows and let the light in. It is a matter of choice. Your mind is your room. Do you want to darken it or do you want to fill it with light, the choice is yours,” Athar from ANA Med ART Bank added.

by Vidhi Rathee

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