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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Outsourced Reproduction

We all are not new to the word ‘Outsourcing’ in the field of Information Technology but what if we hear it in a very personal space like Reproduction. Till today this life cycle was from bedroom to the maternity ward but our very own Aamir Khan added a new aspect of ‘Surrogacy’ to this experience.

First of all congratulations to Aamir and Kiran Rao for becoming parents through IVF(In-vitro Fertilization)  and kudos for their boldness to come out before the world and accept the same. Celebrities like Aamir are role models for the society and such avant-garde steps draw attention and ignite minds very fast. The online media, news channels, print media all are giving this news its due importance and I really feel happy about it.

Aamir Khan with Wife Kiran Rao
Aamir Khan with Wife Kiran Rao

My intent to write this article is to discuss a subject that has been taboo for us so far. ‘Infertility’ due to present day lifestyle is becoming a very common phenomenon among married couples. Owe it to late marriages, changed lifestyles, medical conditions or day to day pressures couples are facing difficult times reproducing. We never have the courage to discuss this problem with the world in open and the stigma to be termed infertile weighs very high. 

Some statistics that I would like to point out here. India has a population of 30 Million childless couples and  40% males and 50% females in the age group of 18-25 suffer from some or the other form of infertility. Is it not time that we as a society accept that not being able to reproduce normally is not a sin and there are alternative means to enjoy parenthood?? 

Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person. This woman may be the child's genetic mother  or she may carry the pregnancy to delivery for compensation.
There could be situations where couples may need to arrange for surrogate pregnancy like:

1)      Male / female infertility or other medical issues which may make the pregnancy nonviable.
2)      The female preferring the convenience of someone else undergoing pregnancy, labor, and delivery for her.
3)      Single person wishing to have his/her own biological child.
4)      Tougher requirements to fulfill for adopting a baby.

We as a society must understand that some couples may need medically assisted reproduction. We have a long way to go and there is a need to prepare a framework to legalize surrogacy, protect rights of surrogate mother and more importantly find answers to our moral dilemmas. It’s time we sit, understand and accommodate disabilities rather than showing pity.