Part Three of The Current
Of Mothers and Merchants - Documentary Repeat
Couples struggling with infertility know how heartbreaking and expensive it can be. In-vitro fertilization, embryo freezing, and adoption all drain bank accounts. Many infertile couples turn to international surrogacy-- paying a foreigner to carry and deliver a baby for them. It's usually done with the commissioning couple's egg and sperm. So there is no genetic link between the surrogate and the baby.
It's illegal in Canada, but there's nothing stopping would-be Canadian parents from going abroad to rent a womb. And many go to India. There, a surrogate can earn between 2-thousand and 10-thousand dollars; a significant sum in India.
But the Indian authorities are unsure whether they should be giving thanks for this new business opportunity. The debate is whether surrogates are empowered -- or exploited.
Tanya Springer traveled to India to look into this story. Her documentary is called "Of Mothers and Merchants" and it's just been named recipient of the Canadian Medical Association's Norman Bethune Award for Excellence in International Health Reporting. But the story begins here in Canada, with one couple's overwhelming desire to become parents.
This segment was produced by The Current's Joan Webber.
Other segments from today's show: