India Uncut

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Outsourcing childbirth

While there are quite a few countries where it is banned, I see nothing wrong with surrogate motherhood, provided there is zero coercion involved. The Christian Science Monitor has a piece on this in which they profile typical examples of people on both sides of the trade. First up:
After two fruitless years of searching in Britain, including putting an offer on their car windshield offering $17,000 for a surrogate, Bobby and Kalwinder Bains took out advertisements in Indian newspapers. The couple has found an Indian surrogate mother, who they are paying $720 for implantation of the embryo, $9,000 if she conceives and delivers their baby, and double that if she delivers another baby next year.
Mr and Mrs Bains clearly benefit from the deal. What about surrogate mothers? CSM gives us an example of one such lady and her family:
When Reshma gives birth next month in this small Indian town, the newborn will be immediately handed over to its biological parents, non-resident Indians who live in London and who have been unable to bear a child on their own. In return for renting her womb, Reshma will be paid $2,800 - a significant sum by Indian standards.


Reshma's husband Vinod - not his real name - says his paltry $50 montly pay as a painter would not be enough to educate his two children. He says the extra money will allow him to invest in his children's education and to buy a new home.
So they benefit as well. Indeed, it is axiomatic that in all free trades, both parties benefit, or the trade would never take place. Wouldn't it then be wrong of anyone, including the government, to infringe on their freedom and personal choice and stop them from going ahead with this deal?

I certainly think so.

(Link via Marginal Revolution.)
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