The Reality of Surrogacy

Imagine you have been trying to get pregnant for years. Everybody of your friends is already happily cuddeling with their toddler. Your spouse and you are desperate. Then you hear about the possibility to finally fulfill your dream – your one and only chance: Hiring a surrogate mother in India will give you a baby of your own.

… Would you do it?


Surrogacy is a highly disputed topic. The main question is whether objectifying the surrogates mother also means exploiting them or whether it is a case of ”your body, your choice”.  Nevertheless, there has been a boom in this “market”. Couples come from all over the world to India to fulfill their wish of a baby that is genetically theirs. However, surrogacy is a risky business. Complications are common during pregnancy and India women take a lot of risk by fulfilling their jobs.


Babies Made in India

This documentary shows the processes and structures in a surrogacy clinic and interviews several persons involved. It vividly depicts their motivations, hopes and fears. One portrayed example of a surrogacy mother is Ramira. She experienced severe blood loss and a following caesarean and  seems traumatized by the past events since she feels like she lost her own baby.

On the other hand, the script turns to the happy, grateful American couple who paid her to give birth to their newborn son and their different perspectives and feelings collide.

Babies made in India is nothing for the faint-hearted. It bluntly shows the surrogate giving birth in the operating room and confronts the watcher with the cold-hearted economic side of surrogacy.


Google Baby


Google Baby shows all actors of surrogacy: the couple unable to get pregnant, the surrogates from India, and the data bank of U.S. egg donors.  The documentary accurately shows the positive and the negative sides of commercial surrogacy. In a first part the journey of a gay couple demonstrates how surrogacy can change the world of two people for the better. However, the dark side of surrogacy soon becomes visible: the carriers are undergoing physical and emotional stress and they have to hide to escape societies critical opinion. All in all in all this documentary perfectly unravels all the different side of surrogacy and provides insights into this insecure world.  


Commercial Surrogacy Exploiting Women Of The Developing World?

Retrieved on:

This documentary underlines the negative aspects behind international surrogacy. The documentary is recorder in a small Indian city, where international couples often come to have their babies borned. First, the documentary mentions the emotions experienced by the families of surrogates. It especially shows the pain endured by the surrogates and their families when they have to give the baby away directly after having given birth to him/her. Several specialists of surrogacy in India are interviewed by the reporter. An indian lawyer mentions the absence of regulations and the lack of rules on the surrogacy market as well as the issue of exploitation and the fact that Indian women often do not have a free choice of being surrogate. Indeed, the amount of money offered, even if though it is very small for developed countries is significant for rural Indians.

All these arguments against surrogacy are then contrasted with a very simplistic point of view, which consists in saying that surrogates needs money while intended parents want a baby, so why not rendering the service, which in the end is not that different of any other services.


All documentaries have been filmed in India, which again show the indubitable status of India in the international surrogacy trade. The first two documentaries emphasise the long and complicated process of surrogacy.  All actors (doctors, surrogates and their families, lawyers, intended parents and their families) are displayed. The watcher obviously understand each surrogacy process depend of its actors. However, a pattern is noticeable: Intended parents would be ready to give anything to have their babies borned, the surrogates mostly do it for the enormous amount of money they receive along the entire process and the lawyers often complain about the lack of regulations. Some of international actors also mention the exploitation of advantaged people towards Indian women and their families.
The last documentary is much more critic and mentions all the bad aspects of surrogacy. Some scenes are very absorbing and very sad to watch.
The whole film end with the question of the free choice of those women who decide to become surrogate.
Are they free? Or are they being exploited by richer and more educated people which once again make profit of their economic and social advantages ?


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