Why People Are Angry About India’s New Surrogacy Rules

New, moralistic regulations have not only raised questions over the future of many babies-in-the-making but also present a blow to India’s $2.5 billion surrogacy industry

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Arko Datta / REUTERS

Shabnam, a surrogate mother, has an ultrasound examination at a clinic in Anand in the western Indian state of Gujarat

A new government regulation has left 28-year-old Sunita Devi worried about the future of the baby she is carrying. Devi, who is already showing at five months, is a surrogate mother carrying the child of a single Canadian man. Wearing a yellow shalwar suit and a long, well-oiled braid, Devi is visibly upset as she talks about a memo that India’s Home Ministry circulated late last year to Indian missions abroad, stipulating that gay couples, single men and women, nonmarried couples and couples from countries where surrogacy is illegal be prohibited from hiring a commercial surrogate in India. As of an unspecified date, foreigners who want to hire a surrogate must be a “man and woman,” the new rule says, “[who] are duly married and the marriage should be sustained at least two years.” Now Devi is worried that the child she is carrying can be ultimately handed over to its Canadian father. “I will be carrying this baby for nine months,” she says. “But what if after I give birth, it doesn’t get a home?”

It’s a question that doesn’t have an official answer at the moment. The new regulations have not only raised questions over the future of many babies-in-the-making but also present a major blow to India’s $2.5 billion surrogacy industry. Each year, an estimated 25,000 foreign couples visit India for surrogacy services, resulting in more than 2,000 births. Surrogacy is a bargain in India — running anywhere from $18,000 to $30,000, the service is roughly a third of the U.S. price — and the traditionally lax regulations surrounding the industry have made it a popular destination for couples from countries where surrogacy is not legal, including several European nations and most of Australia. “India was a wonderful hub for surrogacy,” says Doron Mamet, owner of Tammuz.com, an Israel-based agency that has been sending couples to India for surrogacy services since 2008. “The combination of excellent medical facilities and attractive cost brought couples from all over the world.”

(MORE: The Nanny Who Was a Princess: How a Kindness Turned Controversial)

The new conditions laid down by India are tough and have thrown a pall over the booming sector. There are about 1,000 registered and unregistered fertility centers in India. The New Delhi–based International Fertility Centre, where Devi is registered as a surrogate, says the new regulations will affect 5% to 7% of their business. Doctors are worried their medical-tourism businesses will take a hit, and surrogates, who get paid about $5,000 to $7,000 for carrying a child to term, are worried that their livelihood is in jeopardy.

Some also question what they say is an uncharacteristically moralistic stand on the government’s part. “No doubt marriage is a sacrosanct institution in India, but it is not so in many Western countries,” says Rita Bakshi, one of India’s top fertility experts, who runs the International Fertility Centre. “Who are we to say that one has to be married to have children?” Since India decriminalized homosexuality in 2011, Mamet’s agency in Israel has sent over 100 gay couples to India. “The Indian society is considered by foreigners as very receptive and very welcoming — whoever you are, you are not being judged,” he says. “The new homophobic rule already affects the prestige of India as an open society.”

In fact, the impetus behind the new regulations is probably less about the sanctity of marriage and more about avoiding legal entanglements with other governments. There have been a few recent cases in which surrogate babies have been caught in legal limbo, including one particularly high-profile case in which a Norwegian woman has been stranded for over two years in India with twins born by an Indian surrogate. After mandatory DNA tests showed that the children were not biologically related to her, the Norwegian embassy in India refused to issue her travel papers for the twins. The case stretched out until last year. And even when the babies are allowed to travel back to the parents’ country of origin, it is sometimes the beginning of other complications. In 2010 a French gay man, who had twins through an Indian surrogate, was allowed to travel back to France, where surrogacy is illegal. He is still engaged in a court battle with the government that took away the twins and placed them in foster care.

(MORE: India’s Rent-a-Womb Industry Faces New Restrictions)

Critics of surrogacy are relieved to see the Indian government taking some steps to regulate this growing industry. Having long disparaged the business as an exploitation of poor Indian women by wealthy foreigners, these experts say the new rules will help ensure that surrogate babies are placed in stable homes. “When couples have been together for a few years, or are married, they tend to have made a commitment to stay together,” says Olga van den Akker, a professor at the Middlesex University London. “This will be in the best interests of the child.”

Laws regulating commercial surrogacy are at best fluid, differing widely from country to country. In other nations where commercial surrogacy is legal, like Russia or Ukraine, single parents or gay couples are allowed to hire a surrogate. In the U.S., regulations vary from state to state; in Arkansas, for example, single people are allowed to hire a commercial surrogate, but the rules are ambiguous when it comes to gay couples. In California, there are no restrictions on the service based on sexual orientation or marital status.

That India’s government is serious about the new rules is evident. Fertility centers all over the country have been asked to submit a list of their ongoing surrogate pregnancies by Feb. 18. In Israel, meanwhile, Mamet is drawing up his contingency plans. Next week he has a meeting with 200 would-be parents to present his post-India surrogacy plans. “All of those couples would have come to India and leave $30,000 to $50,000 each,” says Mamet, who has spent the past month traveling in other Asian countries to come up with new options for clients. “Now they’ll do it elsewhere.”

MORE: Russia’s Adoption Politics: Defeated Families Caught in a Diplomatic Tailspin

25 comments
johanna.hilden49
johanna.hilden49

As far as I know for the surrogacy programm in Ukraine you should also be married. At least, when we applied for surrogacy programm in the Biotexcom medical center, we were asked for the marriage certificate. And for sure they needed the marriage certificate to submit the documents for the birth certificate of our daughter. But we underwent the process almost a year ago, may be that's been changed.

SurrogacyLawsIndia
SurrogacyLawsIndia

'Not only the existing guidelines but the 228th Report of the Law Commission supports that the surrogacy arrangements shall be regulated between the parties through contract which is enforceable in the courts of law and a child born out to the hetro-sexual or same sex couple / single parent shall be the legitimate child of that parent(s) and it shall be the responsibility of the that parent to grant name and nationality to the child so born. Further The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill 2010 apart from Chapter VII, Clause 32 also provides in Clause 35 (3) that, “In the case of a single woman the child will be the legitimate child of the woman, and in the case of a single man the child will be the legitimate child of the man.” Thus the intention of the Legislature is very apparent that there is no bar for the single man and / or woman to go for surrogacy in India. In fact the Proposed Bill has gone a step further and have recognized / suggested surrogacy for gay couple(s) married or unmarried. Any Notification or any part thereof suggesting and / or spelling out contrary to the intention of the existing Guidelines and / or Proposed Bill is against the law and needs to be withdrawn. For any further query, please visit us at surrogacylawsindia''

IVFDad
IVFDad

@r.i(h I feel you and let me take it to the next step. As a bi-national immigrant, it gets only harder. First to answer @seizeabe we tried to adopt but the laws would not allow us as we are not citizens of US and only residents. Surrogacy was the other option. However, as I found out that men on US green card cannot bring a child born outside the US without  a "legal mother". So now we are dealing with "biological link" issues, gender issues, child rights issues and so many other things which the LAW forces us to discuss even though socially we may think differently like is gender a social term or legal term? difference in non-biological and biological parents? Best interest of a child is a social term for pretense and hypocrisy or can LAWS back it up?

I had an IVF child in India through an egg donor and surrogate while I was in the US on green card. I figured LOVE is what a parent should give to a child but who would have thought that LAWS do not see it the same way? I am living in exile in India raising my lovely IVF daughter leaving a successful career of over 20+ years and nearly not making as much as I used to. Ironically, female foeticide and female infanticide occurs in India and here I am saving my daughter. I could have given her up for adoption or abandoned her and never came to India when she was born and leave the surrogate and the IVF clinic guessing kinda like what the surrogate in this story is feeling and has a question mark with the new gay surrogacy rules. I just could not give up my own blood especially after trying for 3 years and several failed IVF attempts. My innocent IVF daughter did not ask to be born, I could not punish her. I had to take responsibility for her.

There are several bi-national gay couples who are living in exile from the US because of immigration issues. I am living in exile because my daughter could not come to the US, so I live where she lives. Let us hope that we can learn to put CHILDREN FIRST. After all, why should the gender of the parent be used as a weapon against the innocent child?

seizeabe
seizeabe

When there are so many orphan children all over the world, it is intriguing why people go to such lengths for surrogacy.

In addition to getting the joy of parenting, imagine the depth of compassion when one decides to adopt an orphan child.

I know of parents who have 2 of their own children, who have adopted 2 children who are orphans. What can be greater compassion?

SurrogacyCentreUSA
SurrogacyCentreUSA

Wow IVF - have heard about this happening sometimes.  Did the clinic you used not check your residency status first prior to your completion of application for surrogacy?   I had to recently turn away a potential IP because he was in the US on a Green Card, and that does not work for application for passport to the US, the biological parent MUST be a full US Citizen.  I'm so sorry that you are dealing with this, and I know that the adoption process in India can take a while.  I admire your courage and strength and wish you and your beautifully loved daughter.  I would love to speak with you about your experience.   All the best!

r.i(h
r.i(h

@seizeabeHello.  Its funny you brought this up and I just happen to be reading the article at the same time.  I have already adopted two children, they are 8 and 9, from Guatemala.  And, I tried to adopt a third in 2007. Which never happened because almost 7 years later, a family member came to get him? Per The Hague, that 7 years in an orphanage was better because he ended up with some distant 4'th cousin? I adopted his sibling, that is family....   

I am going to take a guess, you have children- none adopted, nor needed the help of anyone other than mother nature to create your family, I think that's great.  So, what about the rest of us? The ones that cannot have a child without a third party of some kind either adoption or surrogacy, that's fun? Yes, there are tons of orphans located all over the world, I have seen the Save The Children commercial as well, and it breaks your heart.  

Here is the issue, Of the programs for adoption, I can go domestic and cross my fingers (because for every ONE newborn available for adoption, there is between 30-40 waiting families.) Before you jump in and say US foster care, I'm not going to touch on this except do some research. Sure the state would love to place a cute baby girl with Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, suffocated during birth, she does walk, talk, go to the bathroom without help, feed herself or respond in anyway.  Thank You State of XX.  Or, a 7yo that has a myriad or mental health and learning issues.  

Before anyone adopts, they are required to take a class to help them decide "what type of child" would they be alright with. Most want a healthy newborn unfortunately, and it does stink. So, my little boy became the child of someone he had never met, and must be wondering, where am I? That is the current state of affairs in adoption. 

Most of the adoptable children for gays are only domestic.  If your brave enough to go it alone, and present yourself as "single" females are embarrassed either with or without restrictions.  Single men, they have no options as far as inter-country, besides one small program that I am not going to mention, lord knows that resource will change their mind right away too.

Adopting is not the romance you think it is.  Domestic has a 30% chance of being successful if picked, the birth-mother can change her mind anytime (I have a friend too, would be a great mom, BUT she has been burned twice at birth by the birth-mothers, after she paid for everything of-course. No refund.  International, over the time I spent trying to get my baby, then child home ruined my relationship, I lost my house (Hands up to the Obama Home Modification system! Where you fill out the forms return them to YOUR LENDER, who will ultimately decide if your approved or not.  My mortgage was over (their %) by $1,997 per month, denied- actually I got denied denied denied denied denied denied in a row then that $1997, well they reduced it by a cool $384. per month? Great Results....) I ultimately Filed for bankruptcy, you might think that having spent so much, over the years, they would let me claim the adoption tax, because I did try- no.

The Hague has tightened up inter-country adoption so much that most people look at it and think, "i'm going to pay 55$ and most likely I will have a child, that is as young as 14 months, maybe?" And forget about it if you think the gays can do it, and trust me, historically, we are generally the last ones to get picked so we are used to it, we get the privilege of sloppy seconds if given a chance at all.  

My partner and I did look to adopt, the one place that we could go to, I could not find a SW to write the home-study a particular way, so that I could (i'm not a murderer,  im gay and the home-study just needed to say that I was single..... nope. Then we looked domestic for a surrogate, most are GS, and with fees coming from the hospital, lawyer, agency, psychologist and surrogate, you need at-least 85$ liquid cash.... MOST of us dont have that, this is the US right? So, I remembered an episode of Oprah, where she featured Indian Surrogacy... Well, 15 years later, I Google the Doc's name, and guess what, he was open to new patients! And, I am not going to go broke! And, contrary to what many may think, the clinic was swarming with woman seeking to become surrogates, people focus on what they are compensated- only 8$, do you know what $8,000 USD is worth in India? Right now 435,641.61.  For perspective I am staying in a brand new apartment in downtown Delhi, its furnished, has one bedroom/ two bath, Kitchen, Living Room and Dining room, with terrace.... I will pay 23,000 inr per month. And if I wanted to buy it outright, 350,000inr and look she still has over 80,000inr remaining.  So lets not pretend like she is getting mistreated. Does mistreatment happen, yes, but I think its rare.  She is willing participant!

I am sure you have all the good intentions in the world, but, you are not going through this, I hope... But if you are, there are some orphans out their for you, as long as your not too tall, too short, ht/wt proportionate, Christian, married for at-least, 5 years, can obtain 4 references each, your both healthy, not too old, pristine health and anything else they may desire. For that you have the privileged of adopting your orphan, now before you could have adopted her at 3 months, maybe 6.... But now, your looking at a 2-3 year old.... Who has lived and experienced only God knows.

Surrogacy starts to sound a lot better doesn't it?

IVFDad
IVFDad

@SurrogacyCentreUSA the clinic knew of the status but did or said nothing. I suppose they saw that as "my problem" as long as they get paid. Do car manufacturers make cars that cannot be driven on the road safely? Then why does IVF industry "produce" IVF babies that are placed in LEGAL LIMBO? I do not have to adopt by daughter since I am the biological parent. It is just that because of my gender, my innocent child cannot immigrate to the US without a "legal mother". Effectively, we are living in exile outside the US like many bi-national same-sex couples. Drop me an email and we can discuss anytime. Thanks for your wishes and wish you the very best as well.

vincentzazzy
vincentzazzy

@r.i(h @seizeabe 

Congratulations! Wow what a story.

Could you please share with me the name of the clinic you are using in India or the Dr?  I tried to find the Oprah episode and I could not find it. :(  

My email is Vincentzazzy at gmail .com

Thank you so much!

Vince

LesMoore
LesMoore

@r.i(h @seizeabe I don't have a family - that's not 'fun' either - sometimes you can't have everything you want.

IVFDad
IVFDad

@r.i(h @seizeabe@r.i(h quite a story and an ordeal just to have a child. Kudos to you for sticking thru. You mentioned they took away a child from you in the US after you adopted the child legally from Guatemala? Do I understand that correctly? 

b
b

@r.i(h @seizeabe 

I am so sorry, I felt terrible when I read this. All this sorrow just to be able to care and love a child legally.  Is there   a way of interviewing you so more know of this situation? As a friend of gays, ( many refs) I am deeply distressed to read your experiences. 


seizeabe
seizeabe

@r.i(h @seizeabe

Right upfront please accept my apologies.... Mine was just an uninformed loud thought!

I was just wondering why people would go through such an elaborate & difficult process.

I am informed now. And, I thank you for the detailed response.

I should have considered the fact that those who go that far, know better.

I wish you the very best.

r.i(h
r.i(h

@seizeabe

This is a very brief overview of the new International Adoption framework.

Are you aware of the Hague Convention Inter-country Adoption? Well it was established by a number of people, most of whom probably fit into the cookie cutter mold of who can adopt: The Hague was developed to establish safeguards which ensure that inter-country adoptions take place in the best interests of the child and with respect for the child’s fundamental rights.

The Convention recognizes that growing up in a family is of primary importance and is essential for the happiness and healthy development of the child. It also recognizes that inter-country adoption may offer the advantage of a permanent family to a child for whom a suitable family cannot be found in his or her country of origin. By setting out clear procedures and prohibiting improper financial gain, the Convention provides greater security, predictability and transparency for all parties to the adoption, including prospective adoptive parents. The Convention also establishes a system of co-operation between authorities in countries of origin and receiving countries, designed to ensure that inter-country adoption takes place under conditions which help to guarantee the best adoption practices and elimination of abuses. 

Principal features of the Convention:

The best interests of the child are paramount (For example, States must: consider national solutions first ensure the child is adoptable; preserve information about the child and his / her parents; evaluate thoroughly the prospective adoptive parents; match the child with a suitable family; impose additional safeguards where needed.  This fundamental principle of the child's best interests should guide the development of an integrated national child care and protection system. If inter-country adoption is needed as part of such a national child care system, it must be ethical and child-centered. 

Subsidiarity principle:

“Subsidiarity” in the Convention means that Contracting States recognize that a child should be raised by his or her birth family or extended family whenever possible. If that is not possible or practicable, other forms of permanent care in the State of origin should be considered. Only after due consideration has been given to national solutions should inter-country adoption be considered, and then only if it is in the child’s best interests. As a general rule, institutional care should be considered as a last resort for a child in need of a family.(THIS CROSSES OFF SINGLE MEN IN ALL BUT ONE COUNTRY- WHERE THE MAJORITY OF CHILDREN ARE ADOPTED FROM, IN MY CASE, MY WAIT WAS 5 YEARS, THEY TOOK FIVE YEARS TO FIND FAMILY- WHERE I ALREADY HAD ADOPTED HIS SISTER) 5 YEARS SEEMS A BIT LENGTHY?  SO, IN MY SITUATION, MY SOON TO BE SON WAS HOUSED IN CASA QUIVIRA AN ORPHANAGE IN GUATEMALA. THE GOVERNMENT TOOK HIM AND PUT HIM INTO A LARGER STATE RUN ORPHANAGE, FOR FIVE YEARS- AND GUESS WHAT HAPPENED, SUPPOSEDLY A DISTANT RELATIVE STEPPED FORWARD TO CLAIM HIM. SO FOR FIVE YEARS HE THOUGHT HE WAS WAITING TO COME TO THE USA, INSTEAD, HE REMAINS THERE.  THE MAJORITY OF YOUR DEVELOPMENT AS A PERSON OCCURS IN THE FIRST 7 YEARS... WHEN HE LEFT THE ORPHANAGE, HE WAS 6 YRS AND 7 MONTHS OLD. 

Safeguards to protect children from abduction, sale and trafficking: (SOME GOOD POINTS, I AGREE)

Co-operation between States and within States (MAKES SENSE)

Automatic recognition of adoption decision (AGAIN, MAKES SENSE)

Competent authorities, Central Authorities and accredited bodies (IN MY CASE, GUATEMALA IS STILL TRYING TO SET UP THIS SYSTEM, SINCE 2007!)

Guides to Good Practice for the 1993 Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention: (THAT MIGHT BE NICE TO HAVE, IF IT WERE APPLIED TO ALL PEOPLE- I'D AGREE)

The Intercountry Adoption Technical Assistance Program (ICATAP)

IVFDad
IVFDad

@r.i(h you certainly have been thru a lot and it shows. kudos to you for sticking it through. with the current situation, how do you plan to get your baby back to the US from India? What I have learnt is that IVF/surrogacy rules are in infancy worldwide - India or the US. IVF families need to start speaking up or we risk losing the debate for equal rights for IVF children and IVF families. Sadly, a lot of people deal with secrecy when it comes to infertility and IVF and do not speak up. As a result, not many facts are known and the laws do not change.

r.i(h
r.i(h

@IVFDad @r.i(h @seizeabe  

 Sorry if I worded that wrong. No, the Govt of Guatemala put him into a state run orphanage rather than let me bring him to the US- for 5 years. The Hague calls for family first, what I meant was, I had already adopted his sister two years earlier and that is family in my book- his biological sister. Technically yes, I had adopted him, but Guatemala would not allow me the chance to have an exit interview with US Embassy, so I was stuck, along with another 4-5k intended parents.  From what I understand, Guatemala to Guatemala adoption occurred - stay seated - 35 times that year.  Oh, and the best part was the letter they send me---- 9 months after the adoption had been finalized in Guatemala by another person (conveniently outside the window I could have appealed- again) about one week before this last Christmas, it made me happy to be Jewish! 

Do you know what the original wording was "children should be raised in their natural habitat" coincidentally, that was also the wording used when I bought my two children each a small fish-tank's, large enough to hold small betta's.

**update**

First, my Indian surrogate is 31.5 weeks pregnant, and I cannot tell you how afraid/excited my family and I am. I had really hoped to use my remaining embryo's at my clinic on my birth/pick up trip that are currently "on ice" at the clinic, but I don't want to push it any further, I just want to make sure that my current pregnancy is able to complete, that both my new baby and the surrogate are both 100% healthy before, during and after the birth and that the my baby and I are able to exit India peacefully, I really am not a disrespectful person, it it is not their wishes to allow single men gay or straight to utilize surrogacy, I have no intention of challenging an entire Government now, nor was would I have.  Just like I would not ever intentionally take advantage of someones sociology-economical status or their ranking in their countries caste system.  To be honest, and I am not judging anyone who decided to go this route.... But, part of why I went to India was because I am VERY Caucasian, like, I may be of Jewish decent, but I would have been one of the select few Germanized- I fit that much of the Caucasian mold. Since my older children are not Caucasian, they are what is still commonly referred to in Guatemala as Mestizo ( half Mayan and half Guatemalan.) So, India presented itself not only on a cost effective "win-win" for myself and for the surrogate and her family, as well as the egg-donor.... Because I did have the option of using donor eggs of any racial or ethnic background (Global Egg Donors was available, or my clinic does have connections in other parts of Asia, parts of Europe and in some parts of Africa if I wanted a child that was full Caucasian, or even African/Caucasian, or probably any ethnic or racial background mixed with my own (93-94% [Polish, Irish] & 4-5% [North/North-Western African, Kazakh/Uzbek] & .9-1.6% [Argentinean] per Ethnic Marker Analysis of my DNA) which all mixed up makes the perfect Aryan.  And, even within India, there was some choice given as far as region of India and educational/caste level.  That was all to much to choose from, I just didn't want my older children to see another xerox copy of me running around, I wanted the diversity... the other stuff about caste and education meant nothing to me really, it was irrelevant, I did want to know what background the donor had, so I could educate my new baby about their heritage, but for that reason only. So, in my current clinic I have two embryo's that will never get the chance to be implanted and maybe create a sibling for my new baby as I had anticipated.  Further, I have an additional large number of embryos that I requested be transferred to North America for Embryo Adoption, the clinic wants $5,000 for my embryo's.  This second "batch" was actually created first, with my first clinic.  I already donated to a couple in CAN, who now have offspring, so rather than destroy the remaining, I wanted to donate them or place them for embryo adoption.  The CAN couple only used three, implanted two.  There is still 18 remaining that could go to a loving person or couple if the second clinic would let me pay the regular transfer amount, but they must know something I don't if they are trying to squeeze every last dime out of me.  Im trying to be altruistic, they are being greedy.  I know the chances of the remaining two frozen embryos creating a life is not 100%, but I wanted to atleast try.... Now, Id have to find a surrogate, fly her into India and have FET performed or something,  if that went domestic US, that would be over 80k, but in India, maybe another 20k total. I cant even think about what will happen to them if I cant use them.

Clearly you can tell which clinic has the best intentions, the one holding the large number of embryo's, $5,000!? If I had that lying around spare change wise, sure.  But the only way would be if a couple wanted them, and they could pay the clinic to release them, though I suppose that would be A LOT cheaper than even embryo adoption in the US. HM, if anyone knows of a way I could connect with a couple or single person, that might be interested, please let me know the agency or something.  Id like to see those go to a home, not the trash. It would be cheaper to use mine, than to create new ones with a anonymous sperm donor and anonymous egg donor here in the US.  I don't want anything for them, maybe put me on your holiday card list or something, even that's not necessary really....

I do like that some people are optimistic that India will change, but I doubt it.

r.i(h
r.i(h

@b @r.i(h @seizeabe Id be happy to talk to you, I just have no idea how to get in touch with you?


orlkorrict
orlkorrict

its amazing how @SurrogacyCentreUSA is framing this out and out exploitation of poor people in such beautiful terms. You deserve an award in creative writing. Goebbels would be proud.

r.i(h
r.i(h

@seizeabe I am sorry if I "went off", I am just so nervous about the legal limbo so many people are in. Its frightening.

Hadrewsky
Hadrewsky

@seizeabe 


Holy crap

Your apology makes you look like an astounding person.... This doesnt not happen on my internets.

SurrogacyCentreUSA
SurrogacyCentreUSA

@seizeabe It is unfortunate that adoption has become such a difficult avenue for creating families.  A friend once asked me if I am advocating surrogacy over adoption, my simple answer is, "No".  If one has the ability to adopt, can pass the grueling and invasive home studies, does not mind a child that may have special needs, or is not concerned about the birth parents recanting, then of course, adopt!  However, many of us do not fit the "perfect model" of a so called traditional family, so we turn to other avenues.  Surrogacy in most foreign countries dictates that there is a DNA proven biological connection between the child born of a surrogate mother and that of one of the Intended Parents.   This brings some peace of mind in many areas, particularly when considering potential future medical needs of the child.  I work in the surrogacy industry, in India, and am very upset that the recent rules for surrogacy have made it even more difficult for wonderful, loving, incredible people to have babies.  I entered into this business as it was an opportunity to assist anyone, gay, straight, married, unmarried, etc, who truly wants to have a family.  I am saddened at the short-sighted movements by the Indian Government to regulate surrogacy in this particular manner.  There are other ways to regulate for the safety and welfare of surrogates, babies, and Intended Parents without stripping an entire group of people of their rights to a family.   Surrogacy in India is a "win win" situation for most people involved - instead of the assumption that Westerners are "taking advantage of poor Indian women" the reality is that we are offering a fresh start at life to these wonderfully giving women who make more that 5 or 6 times the average annual salary for a working class person in India for their exchange of helping so many of us have the babies we long for.  This salary for the surrogate's year long commitment allows them to pay for the expensive education of their existing children, for housing, for a future they might not otherwise have.   Yes, regulations are needed to ensure that rogue clinics do not pop up and endanger the surrogates or babies and corrupt the industry as a whole, however these current proposed regulations simply put an end to what can be a fantastic boon to both the Indian economy, which has seen a large increase in revenues from travel due to surrogacy, and also puts an end for the opportunity for women in a male centric society to  have one excellent chance at making a difference both to their own families by helping ours.   We are hopeful that these proposed regulations are temporary, and doctors, clinics, hospitals, and others in the industry are working hard to challenge these unfair and frankly illegal changes to legislation.  Prevent the problems with other countries simply by not allowing Intended Parents from those countries to enter into surrogacy contracts, or by not allowing them visas for surrogacy in general.   Much simpler than banning entire groups who will now simply head to other countries to have their long awaited families.