Monday, February 05, 2007

What Poverty Means

Jyoti Dave is pregnant, but when the 30-year-old gives birth in March the baby will not be taken home but will instead be handed over to an American couple unable to conceive.
Jyoti Dave is a surrogate mother . She says it's money she desperately needs to feed her poor family after an industrial accident left the family's only breadwinner unable to work.

"My husband lost his limbs working in the factory," Dave told Reuters. "We could not manage even a meal a day. That is when I decided to rent out my womb."

Surrogate motherhood is among the latest in a long list of roles being outsourced to India, where rent-a-womb services are far cheaper than in the West.

"In the U.S. a childless couple would have to spend anything up to $50,000," stated Gautam Allahbadia, a fertility specialist "In India, it's done for $10,000-$12,000."

But of course the likes of Jyoti won't receive that sum . Fertility clinics usually charge $2,000-$3,000 for the procedure while a surrogate is paid anything between $3,000 and $6,000.

Some are calling it the "commoditisation of motherhood" and an exploitation of the poor by the rich.

( Of course , this is nothing really new when in the past the rich employed the poor to breast-feed their babies as wet-nurses )

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