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Outsourcing Baby-Making in India

The disturbing realities of reproductive tourism as a global growth sector.

It's a typical story in our global economy: Citizens of wealthy nations hire Indians to provide goods and services that cost less than the same goods or services domestically produced. But in the case of "reproductive tourism," the Indian laborers are surrogate mothers who literally labor on behalf of foreign couples. They are paid to 'host' babies who are later carried home to the U.S., Britain, Israel, Australia, and other developed nations.

One expert recently referred to reproductive tourism as a "global growth sector," with India leading the trend. (Reproductive tourism is not limited to India. British women regularly travel to U.S. fertility clinics to access a larger pool of donated eggs, and Indian-style surrogacy programs are springing up in Guatemala.) Fertility clinics in India market their services by offering foreign clients travel services so they can sightsee while in India for an IVF cycle or retrieving their baby. The clinics also recruit surrogates, usually poor Indian ...

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