LifeNews: Rich People FedEx Embryos to Women in India for Cheap Surrogacy


From Life News:

Rich People FedEx Embryos to Women in India for Cheap Surrogacy
by Rebecca Taylor

The Church has always rejected surrogacy and for very good reason. It objectifies both the woman whose womb has been rented and the child for whom a contract has been made for delivery.

Nowhere is this arrangement more exploitive than when rich westerners go to places like India and get a uterus on the cheap. Not only are the embryos sometimes shipped by FedEx overseas to be transferred to a woman the parents have never actually met, but the dangers to the surrogate are substantial. Because she is usually poor and “working” to help support her family by renting out her body, the contract she signs often places the health and well-being of the child above her own, something that would not happen with a Western surrogate.

The media often portray international surrogacy as a win-win for all involved and as empowering poor women. Those who have researched the practice know this is not the case. (I recommend Scott Carney’s Red Market:On the Trail of the World’s Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers for a look into surrogacy and other body markets.) Finally someone is making sense regarding the need to protect poor women who are surrogates. Kishwar Desai writes in The Guardian:


Read the rest there.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Dogs and Fleas, Emanations from Penumbras, TEOTWAWKI, The Last Acceptable Prejudice. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Burke says:

    I wonder what dollar value they place on those packages before they put them in the post?

  2. Kerry says:

    But Father, but Father!! Surely you cannot oppose a woman’s right to be subjugated…uh surrogated? Wymyn’s health is on the line!

  3. acricketchirps says:

    I’M AN EX-EMBRYO! Could they have fed ME to a woman in India?

  4. catholicmidwest says:

    I’m trying to figure out why anyone thinks this might be a good idea. It’s disgusting on too many levels to count.

  5. Peggy R says:

    I saw commercials for this business on late night FOX a few weeks back. I googled it. It’s indecent, exploitative of the Indian women, and friendly to “homosexuals.” The doctor is of Indian descent–maybe an Indian citizen himself still. I am trying to figure out how a child can be born in India and get into America. What about immigration, international adoption regs? How have they bypassed those laws? [I have experience in international adoption and wonder how they get around all that.]

    I am glad to see Lifesite News on the case.

  6. LisaP. says:

    How very Handmaid’s Tale of them. . . .

  7. BillyHW says:


  8. tioedong says:

    here in the Philippines, organ buying is illegal, but happens. The “donor” gets a couple hundred dollars, and the ‘in between” guys and the docs get thousands of dollars. The doctors who do transplants oppose the practice, which is why they keep it illegal…but law enforcement is lax, alas.

    When there was a discussion about surrogacy in the local paper, the reporter talked to one poor taxi driver, and he said he wouldn’t mind if his girlfriend did it, but she interrupted and said: I get attached to my cellphone and upset when I lose it. How do you think I would feel about giving up a baby that I carried for nine months?

  9. Kathleen10 says:

    A grotesque situation on all levels. It’s annoying how wealthy people just open their wallets and everything comes their way, including an innocent life.
    It’s discouraging, isn’t it really. Makes it clear how far down that slope we have all slid.

  10. Indulgentiam says:

    brings to mind Matthew 19:24 ” And again I say to you: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.” reading this made me grateful i never have more than a few dollars in the bank.

  11. APX says:

    They probably mark it as “gift” to save on duty taxes.

  12. MKR says:

    John Finnis has noted that what’s distinctively evil about slavery is precisely what’s distinctively evil about in vitro, and I’m sure he’d say the same about surrogacy. All those practices treat humans (or some humans) as products or commodities, as things that can be bought and sold, whose values are determined at least in part by market forces.

    It’s appalling how little outrage people tend to have for these profoundly disrespectful acts. I know exactly zero non-Catholics who have *any* qualms with in vitro, artificial insemination, and the like–indeed, most of them can’t even imagine why anyone would ever find those practices objectionable. A friend of mine once heard a woman who had used artificial insemination nonchalantly refer to her own children–in their presence, no less!–as “expensive” things that “cost [her] a ton of money.” The woman apparently believed that this was not a demeaning, or even tacky, remark. Her moral insanity is pandemic in our “culture.” We must pray for its extermination.

  13. randomcatholic says:

    Yes I am aghast at this. I am gratified to see Fr. Z is as well. However, currently Father is at the Acton Institute, and this surrogate market is exactly that: a free market where the participants are taking part in this disgusting practice of their own free will. I find it infuriating that there are Catholics who would defend this practice, but I assure you, there are, and some of them even consider themselves “traditional.”

  14. Annette says:

    It may seem that most people are unconcerned about this issue, but there is a great deal of discussion in the bioethics community.

    According to a recent article in the LA Times, there are an estimated 1,500 surrogacy births for domestic and overseas couples in 2010, a 50% jump in two years. The specialty is a tiny part of the Indian fertility treatment business, including in vitro fertilization, hormone treatment and egg and sperm donation, that’s on target to reach $2.3 billion next year. Concerned about abuses, legal loopholes and the nation’s reputation, the Health Ministry in late January drafted India’s first surrogacy law, setting out age limits, how often surrogates can give birth and guidelines aimed at preventing “stateless” babies. Although critics say the proposed rules don’t go far enough, all sides agree that legislative infighting makes passage unlikely anytime soon.

    Meanwhile, financial irregularities and ethical shenanigans have increased fertility experts said, because profits are huge and any doctor here can in theory become a fertility specialist overnight. “Today, unfortunately, even the smallest clinics are doing surrogacy because it’s a simple procedure and four times as profitable” as other fertility treatments, said Dr. Aniruddha Malpani, a fertility specialist in Mumbai. “Some aren’t up to the mark, and foreigners get fleeced.”
    Some of the biggest problems involve citizenship. In 2008, “baby Manji” was left stateless after a Japanese couple divorced in the middle of the surrogate pregnancy, and Tokyo refused to recognize the infant after the mother gave her up. And last year, a Canadian couple were shocked when a required DNA test found surrogate twins weren’t biologically theirs.

    The article can be found here:

  15. pfreddys says:

    I file this and everything like it, in-vitro fertilization etc. as Dr. Frankenstein medicine.

  16. Dennis Martin says:

    The first commentor over at Life News, “Megan,” has a glowing report about her son, Toby, born from a surrogate in India. Wesley Smith takes issue with her.

    But in passing, “Megan” mentions the “three women who loved” the baby. Apparently Megan and a lesbian “partner” “commissioned” a baby in India.

  17. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    MKR says, “I know exactly zero non-Catholics who have *any* qualms with in vitro, artificial insemination, and the like–indeed, most of them can’t even imagine why anyone would ever find those practices objectionable.” It is certainly not the case that there aren’t any – though one meets worryingly many self-conscious Christians who seem insufficiently thoughtful, and it seems to be getting worse.

    For example, I recall that Enoch Powell sponsored an amendment when ‘in vitro fertilization’ was getting legally regulated in the UK – to provide that every embryonic human conceived ‘in vitro’ would be placed ‘in utero’ and allowed to go on maturing, no matter what: it was defeated even then, but I wonder who, where, would sponsor or support something equally ‘limiting’ today.

    And I saw a quotation from some American judge a while ago in a post at Volokh Conspiracy who seemed to use “procreation” in a special sense to refer to the placement ‘in utero’ of “frozen embryos”, as if they were not ‘procreated’ till then!

  18. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Sadly, I know a guy whose son pulled this. (He’s an economist and the son of an economist, and his son’s an economist also. I think. ANyway, they’ve got money.) I guess the son’s wife was infertile or something, but I don’t remember if the kid were actually genetically her child or genetically half-Indian. I was pretty shocked. Frankly, I expected better from these folks; but they seemed unaware that the whole thing was horrible, and proudly documented the whole process. I suspect that several deceased members of the family are rotating in their graves at high speed.

    randomcatholic — Re: free market, I think you’ll find that free market economy folks usually opine that unfair economic use of people is not beneficial to the economy, because it prevents people from being fully part of the economy. For example, you don’t expect a woman who spends years and years pregnant for other people to be anxious to plan for the future of her own children, and hence to invest in things that will improve the productivity of her house, buy land, etc. She might have the money to do it, but she will probably end up a depressed mess. People who feel empty inside are not economically confident or far-thinking. Slaves, and other cases of using humans as labor-saving devices in a demeaning way, have never improved the economy very well; they don’t have any incentive to take initiative (other than to mess their owner up, or escape, or kill themselves). So of course it’s a skeevy business. They know it’s short term and bound to get stopped, or fail for other reasons.

    Taking the moral high ground, in business as in war, is something that is consistently seen to make people work harder because they know it’s all for a good cause. Boyd (of the OODA loop) insisted that good morals also kept your opponents off balance, because if they did bad stuff, they knew they were lesser men than the ones on your side. And you know, it’s just good to do good. No reason needed.

  19. mamajen says:

    I’m very surprised to hear of this “business”. Every couple I have known of who has used a surrogate was extremely anxious about the health and lifestyle of the surrogate. It’s also a very expensive undertaking, and it’s hard to imagine people spending that kind of money to have someone in India carry their child. I would adopt in a heartbeat if I had that kind of money at my disposal.

Comments are closed.