Infertile Americans Go to India for Gestational Surrogates


At first, surrogacy was considered shameful by Indian women.

"Things have changed," Ajja told "We have thousands [of women offering to be surrogates]. We now get referrals from sisters, sisters-in-law and word of mouth."

The surrogates receive free medical care, food and even housing close to the clinic, where they can be monitored by medical professionals in the third trimester. The fee paid by couples includes the surrogacy fees, IVF, medical testing, legal documents and passport assistance.

Author Steiner doesn't suggest there are no potential problems with international surrogacy. "It's not a perfect world," she said. "India has a big problem with forced prostitution and there is a high incidence of female infanticide. So it is a bit ironic that surrogacy is flourishing."

Rhonda learned about the Indian clinic on an "Oprah" show and then by searching the Internet. When they saw the cost, about $26,000, she said, "I thought it was do-able."

The only references the couple had was a man from Spain, "who spoke very broken English," said Rhonda. But when they arrived in India and saw the birthing hospital and the accommodations for the surrogates, "we felt good about the process," said Rhonda. "It was very professional."

Through both pregnancies, the Wiles kept in touch with the surrogates via a language interpreter on Skype. When Blaze was about 18 weeks in utero, the couple decided to go to India and meet his surrogate.

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