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The midday sun is ferociously hot outside the Akanksha Infertility Clinic, a scuffed concrete building in the small Indian city of Anand. Crammed into a single patch of shade by the gate, a stray cow and a family of beggars — caked so uniformly in dung-colored dust they resemble clay models — wait out the noontime heat.
Inside, the lobby is jammed with barefoot female patients in circus-bright saris. Nurses in white Indian tunics scuttle among them, hollering out names and brandishing medical files. The air smells faintly of sweat and damp cement. On the walls, blurry photos of babies and newspaper clippings celebrate the clinic's raison d'être: "The Cradle of the World" declares one headline.
In this case, the metaphor is also literal. The Akanksha clinic is at the forefront of India's booming trade in so-called reproductive tourism — foreigners coming to the country for infertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The clinic's main draw, however, is its success using local women to have foreigners' babies. Surrogacy costs about $12,000 in India, including all medical expenses and the surrogate's fee. In the U.S., the same procedure can cost up to $70,000.
I had her back in my room before the matron came to inform me my baby had been born dead.
It was 1974, things were different then. I shared a ward with 12 other single mothers, and all the others agreed to adopt out their babies. As I hadn't, the hospital invoked "special procedures" to make sure I never took my baby home.
Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
reply to post by nixie_nox
I would have concerns over not being able to monitor the mother, also. Otherwise, I don't have a problem with this.
Many couples would consider this such a blessing, as they are unable to have children. In many ways it does fill a need.
But, indeed. What a strange world we live in.
I guess if it causes them too much emotional distress, they won't repeat it
I don't see condemning a woman for the choices she feels she must make.
That said though, I still don't condemn them, everyone has a price, there are things that you, myself, and everyone would do that you wouldn't normally, if the price was right, that could be considered taboo and thus condemned by society. None the less, some will consider what they're doing wretched others will see them as allowing for a miracle to take place.
Either way they're lining up to offer the service and get paid for it.
Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
reply to post by Kailassa
And who are we to pass judgment on her decisions because we wouldn't do it ourselves?
British Governor General Lord McCauley's said, in a speech to the British Parliament on Feb 2, 1835: "I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation."
As soon as the British gained ownership of the state of Bengal in 1757, they set about the task of dismantling the Indian economic structure. Textiles in Bengal were the first to be dealt the deathblow. Other commercial segments came one after the other. Wherever they defeated a king, economic hardship was instituted. A complete breakdown of the local economic structure was precipitated. From 1857 onwards, the British crown ruled over India. Each viceroy's main task was to transfer wealth to England. Since all state treasuries had already been looted, other means had to be developed to transfer the money to England.
Around the time of the 1757 Battle of Plassey, the Industrial Revolution had begun in England. Manufacturing on a large scale had replaced cottage industries and farming. Factories had to be kept humming and products sold at a profit. The best place the British could find to export their manufactured goods was India. Hence, India's commercial, manufacturing and agricultural sectors, which had existed for thousands of years, were to be completely dismantled. The British went about doing this with great finesse. First they removed artisans from the manufacturing base, then they denied critical raw materials and finally they taxed any product which still managed to come to the market. Life was made miserable all around.
. . . .
Decline began soon after the success of the Industrial Revolution in England. This impact started to be felt, as British factories were kept busy at the expense of Indian cottage industries. All Indian-produced goods were heavily taxed. This was done to promote European goods. European voyages of the trading ships multiplied several fold. They carried Indian raw materials and brought back finished goods. All the forgoing was good for England and bad for India. The trade balance began to shift heavily in England's favor.
. . . . .
The British completed their conquest in 1857; by that time India was set up as a basket case. It received finished goods from England at a high price. In return, it sold raw materials at throwaway prices. The whole society was moving into poverty. The next 100 years were a classic case of systematic looting of the nation.