| June 20, 2018

Thousands of Nepali women in India's rent-a-womb business

Thousands of Nepali women in India's rent-a-womb business
Acquire Indian ID for surrogacy purposes
NEW DELHI (India), Nov 2: It has been revealed that many Nepali women are travelling to India to become surrogate mothers. Taking advantage of the porous border between Nepal and India, they have been travelling to different cities in India for surrogacy.

Republica learnt that the women were accompanied by their husbands or other family members while acrossing the border. Upon reaching India, they acquire some kind of Indian identity to become eligible for surrogate motherhood.
Numerous other women are also waiting to go to India for surrogacy in the hope of earning 'decent' money.

Maya (name changed) said that she and her husband have agreed to carry someone else's baby to earn money.

"I was accompanied by my husband on the way from Nepal. When questioned at the border, I told them that I was going to work in India as a housemaid," said Maya, who was originally from Butwal.

"I wasn't persuaded by anyone to become a surrogate mother," she said adding, "I just heard about it from one of my relatives who had done it and I also opted for it to earn some money."
Maya, a mother of two, says educating her children and building a small house is her dream as she is waiting to become a surrogate mother soon and earn up to Rs. 700,000.

There is no authoritative data on how many Nepali women have travelled here to become surrogate mothers but an estimated 30 to 50 percent of all surrogate mothers are of Nepali origin, according to Tammuz International Surrogacy. However, most of the fertility centers assured that there was no involvement of agents to fetch Nepali women to India and that they come voluntarily.

Dr. Sahil Gupta, Asia Pacific Manager of Tammuz International Surrogacy, said that hundreds of Nepali women come to India for surrogacy and get an Indian ID to become eligible to carry the babies of foreigners.

"Nepali women need to have an Indian ID for surrogacy motherhood in India," Gupta told Republica.

International Fertility Center (IFC), an IVF and infertility treatment center in New Delhi, informed that they have taken at least 30 Nepali women to date for surrogacy services. A caretaker of surrogate mothers who works for IFC, informed Republica on condition of anonymity that she is aware of many Nepali women being hired for surrogacy.

"Some of our foreign clients specifically want to get surrogacy done from Nepali women," she said. "But our organization hasn't hired any agent to bring Nepali women for such purposes. The women come voluntarily.'

Before surrogacy was banned in Nepal effective from 18 September, the government had decided to allow surrogacy for foreigners. Indian women were brought to Nepal to provide surrogacy services for foreigner couples.

Once surrogacy was banned in Thailand and legal complications surfaced in India, Nepal emerged as a hub for commercial surrogacy in Asia. After India in 2013 prevented couples who had been married for less than two years and gay men from opting for surrogacy, Nepal became the destination for surrogacy, mostly for Israeli citizens.