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India plans to stop birth surrogacy for foreigners

Surrogate mothers rest inside a temporary home for surrogates, south of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. (REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal)

The Indian government has filed an affidavit with its Supreme Court on Wednesday, looking to ban foreigners from using Indian women as surrogacy mothers. They are looking to regulate the “surrogacy industry” which has become a booming business in India, with one advocacy group valuing it at more than $400 million. The affidavit states that “the Government of India does not support commercial surrogacy,” claiming that surrogacy should be available “to Indian married infertile couples only and not to foreigners.”

India has long tried to regulate surrogacy, but these new restrictions would need approval from the Parliament. Jayshree Wad, a lawyer who petitioned the Supreme Court to ban commercial surrogacy believes it harms India’s image abroad, saying: “There is a common opinion about India which hurts very badly — that because there is poverty they sacrifice their womb by renting it for their family.” Others have argued that banning the practice would push it underground, reducing the “bargaining power” of surrogate mothers and thus do more harm than good.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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