Should commercial surrogacy be banned?

India has been known as a hub of commercial surrogacy but the government is cracking down.
Until a few years ago, India was known globally as a hub for commercial surrogacy. Childless couples and individuals from India and abroad were ready to pay good money to have a child, and poor women were available to rent their wombs. Thousands of infertility clinics sprung up all over India to facilitate the multi-million-dollar industry. But the government has been cracking down on this practice. In 2015, foreigners were banned from seeking commercial surrogacy in India, and now a bill is in the parliament aiming to ban the practice completely, including for Indian citizens. 

Proponents of the ban say that the industry flourishes at the cost of financial and medical exploitation of the surrogates, and that commercial surrogacy poses serious questions around medical ethics. The government is pushing for altruistic surrogacy instead, which offers no financial compensation, comes under certain conditions, and excludes single parents and homosexual couples. On the other hand, supporters of the rent-a-womb industry, insist that surrogates are treated fairly, and it is a win-win situation for both surrogates and childless people seeking an alternative. 

We speak to a doctor with extensive professional experience in commercial surrogacy, a public health expert who supports the ban and believes that reproductive labour is highly exploitative, and a choreographer who was one of the first single men in India to adopt a child. We also hear the voices of surrogate mothers and ask them about their experiences.

Presenter: Devina Gupta

Contributors: Dr Priti Gupta, Fertility Specialist, First Step IVF Clinic; Prof Mohan Rao, Independent Researcher and Public Health Expert; Sandip Soparrkar, Choreographer, Single Parent

A Surrogate's Story

Gay dad David Gregory-Kumar speaks to the US-based surrogate who carried his baby.
David Gregory-Kumar is a BBC journalist, and he's also a gay dad.  Across three editions of One to One, he's exploring different aspects of gay parenting. Today he speaks to DaJon, the surrogate who carried his, and his husband Suraj's, baby girl. 

Producer: Karen Gregor

Diary of a Surrogate

Linder wants to be a surrogate to help a gay couple have a baby - but will it work out?
Having already helped one couple become parents by being a surrogate, Linder wants to do it again. The joy of seeing new parents hold their baby for the first time was so wonderful, she wants to give that to someone else. This time, Linder is trying to get pregnant for gay couple Nick and Karl. But although she conceives very quickly, the path ahead is fraught with difficulties. Linder records an intimate and painfully honest diary as the pregnancy continues.

Giving birth to my granddaughter so my son can have a child

A woman has given birth to her own grand-daughter so that her gay son can have a child
An American woman has given birth to her own grand-daughter so that her gay son and his husband can have a child. Cecile Eledge who's sixty-one and from Nebraska had the baby in March. The child was conceived through in vitro fertilisation using sperm from her son and his husband's sister served as the egg donor. BBC Newsday caught up with one of the parents ,Matthew Eledge.

(Picture: Baby Uma Louise with her parents, Matthew Eledge and Elliot Dougherty and her grandmother, Cecile Eledge. Credit: ARIEL PANOWICZ / HTTP://ARIELFRIED.COM/)