Womb For Rent

With surrogacy costing up to $70,000 in the US compared to only $12,000 in India, many Western women are outsourcing pregnancy abroad.

It's a multi-million dollar industry that sees rural Indians receive the equivalent of 10 years' salary.

Over the course of nine months, we follow the lives of two women, who in each other seek solutions to the problems of poverty and infertility, and explore whether it's a relationship that is exploitative or mutually beneficial.

We examine their reasons for choosing cross continent surrogacy, and hear of the legal and emotional battles they can face.

The programme is both touching and revealing. The 'relationship' expected of each by the other won't always match and the language barrier doesn't help.

The social mother - the one who will bring up the child - must go through a full pregnancy but with a womb that's thousands of miles away.

Equally the surrogate must live through the term knowing that, while she participates in nature's greatest gift, the result of her labours will become someone else's responsibility just days after she delivers.

Away from these deeply personal stories many question the morality of international surrogacy, where rich meet poor in what's usually a one-time deal.

Defending the criticism is Doctor Patel, Director of the Akanshka Clinic, nicknamed 'cradle of the world'.

She believes the surrogates are empowered to change their lives, but is this really a choice when these same women can't afford to educate their own children, ultimately what role does money play?

Available now

25 minutes

Last on

Sat 4 Feb 2012 22:05 GMT

In Detail: Moving Pictures

A Flower Painting by Rachel Ruysch

Take time to discover the detail in old masterpieces using your phone, tablet or computer

Amazing documentaries from 2017


Catch up on some of the most powerful global stories from the last year


The Space Race

Stargazing - from eclipses to the spacecraft changing our view of the Universe

The Documentary Podcast

The Documentary Podcast

Every episode of The Documentary, on your mp3 player, to play wherever you are

The Compass

The Compass - branding 1920

The essential take on big ideas, issues and trends from the 21st century