Difference between Indian and Foreign Surrogacy
Scientific advances in the modern times have made it possible for couples to become parents with the help of surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy uses the sperm of the intended father or donor and the eggs of the surrogate mother. Gestational surrogacy is another form wherein the surrogate mother carries a child created from the sperm and eggs of either the parents or donors. This gives rise to many legal complications as far as the legislative stand is concerned. Many countries like France, Japan, Germany and China have completely banned surrogacy while others like UK, Australia, New Zealand and Holland allow altruistic surrogacy. Commercial surrogacy flourishes only in countries like India, Ukraine and Russia. This is perhaps the biggest difference between Indian and foreign surrogacy.
However, there are plenty of other differences between Indian and foreign surrogacy. In India, the term 'rent-a-womb' is used to depict surrogacy and for a good reason too. Indian women who agree to act as a surrogate usually come from the poorer sections of society looking at the financial windfall they stand to benefit. On the other hand, in countries like United States where few states allow commercial surrogacy, women below the poverty line are not allowed to become surrogates.
When it comes to Surrogacy India contracts, they are drawn up to favor the intended parents with no legal recourse for the surrogate mother should something go wrong. Moreover, the surrogate mother is asked to assume all physical and psychological risks while releasing the intended parents from all liabilities. Foreign surrogacy contracts on the other hand protect the intended parents as well as the surrogate mother.
During the pregnancy, the Indian surrogate lives in a dormitory with other surrogates, away from her family. This is done to monitor her progress and to keep track of her health and the baby. In cases of foreign surrogacy, the surrogate mother lives with her family during the course of the pregnancy although she is regularly visited by case workers to ensure everything is progressing smoothly. Not only is she compensated financially, but due care is taken of her and the baby's health.
In Indian surrogacy the Surrogate India never meets the intended parents for whom she has carried the child. In foreign surrogacy arrangements, the intended parents and surrogate meet before the contracts are drawn and work together to achieve a common goal. They might even keep in touch after the child is born and the contract ends.
In India surrogacy laws are severely lacking in regulation but the Indian Council of Medical Research has issued guidelines to be followed by fertility clinics. Foreign surrogacy on the other hand is much more regulated and protects both parties to the contract.