Carrying Her Child Hyderabad

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She looked ill at ease in the air conditioned room of a plush clinic in Khairatabad (Kiran Infertility Centre, Hyderabad, India) where she sat down on a huge sofa that almost swallowed her petite frame. Her hand absent-mindedly touched her slightly swollen belly as she said she was in her fifth month. Though pregnant for the third time, she said this would not be her third child.

 A proverbial seven seas away, a doctor in the US awaited the birth of her first child. Having nursed the dream to have a baby for many years after marriage, she was finally hopeful, having seen pictures of the ultrasound scan, a tiny baby distinct in the blurred black and white image. The scan wasn’t hers but of the woman in the Khairatabad clinic (Kiran Infertility Centre, Hyderabad, India), who was carrying the doctor’s child in her womb. The two women have never met and are not legally allowed to know each other. They are bonded however by their desire. One needs a child, another money and bringing them together is the booming surrogacy business in Hyderabad. The women offering their wombs on nine- month lease to unknown women are regular homemakers, students, daily wage workers either from Hyderabad or from the city outskirts. For them, pregnancy is just another job. In classified ads on the internet, they speak of the school fee they have to pay or the debts they have to clear. Lending a womb is a small price to pay.

 And while they do their job, the intended parents learn how to be a parent, living the pregnancy of an unknown woman who is carrying their child. An Alaskan couple that got a surrogate baby from Hyderabad and has done extensive blogging on the whole experience, share in of their posts how they attended parenting workshops which included lessons on how to change diapers. Ask surrogates about their experience and they steer clear of baby talk. “We get taken care of well. It’s fine,” a surrogate says, smiling. She adds how they even get “offs” as long as it’s safe for them to venture out of the infertility clinic. They speak of families back home, the school-going child, the toddler daughter, and the husband waiting for her to come back, with the money.

 “There is nothing wrong with this. It is a job that will pay me well enough to tide through some tough times,” insists another surrogate, almost as if explaining it to herself. These women, some of them educated well enough to get the job of a receptionist in offices, say that while legally they are protected to do this work, they still hide it fearing social stigma. “We make excuses to relatives before leaving home. I mentioned a prolonged treatment in Hyderabad,” one of them shares. Much like matrimonial ads, surrogates advertise their brown eyes and black hair. Unlike in matrimonial ads, here they also declare their fertility by sharing the number of children they have. “I have two children but my husband and I have hit bad times,” shares a potential surrogate scouting for a customer on the internet. Infertility clinics too put up ads asking for “smart and intelligent” young girls.

 Once signed as a surrogate, life changes for the next few months. Medical tests, psychological evaluation of the candidate and her family’s medical history are carried out. Their diets are supervised and movement restricted.

 After the baby is born, they fade into oblivion. They either scout for another clinic or another customer after recovering for a few months from childbirth or use the money for the purpose for which they had taken up “the job”. But do they pine for the baby they carried for so many months before handing it over to a stranger? “No. It’s not our child, right. So it is not right for me to think this way,” says a surrogate.

 (Metrospection will study the cocktail of emotions experienced by the urban woman)

 For Original article, click here >>

 

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