For many same-sex and single parents, choosing a surrogate mother outside the country is a popular route. However, new regulations in India may cause them to seek elsewhere.
India’s Home Ministry circulated late last year to Indian missions abroad, and stipulated that gay couples, single men and women, unmarried couples and couples from countries where surrogacy is illegal be prohibited from hiring a commercial surrogate in India. The new rule states foreigners must be a man and woman that have been married for at least two years.
While the new rules are claimed to benefit India by keeping their citizens out of foreign government entanglements and limiting exploitation of young females, it also puts a damper on those who really want to start a family.
Surrogacy is less expensive in Indiawith the out of pocket costsrunning from $18,000 to $30,000 resulting in their $2.5 billion surrogacy industry. Each year, an estimated 25,000 foreign couples visit India for surrogacy services.
However, the distance and the length of time for traveling (at least twice) is a hassle, especially for intended parents from other continents. There are also potential language barriers and the possibility of international legal problems.
It is understandable to want to put children in stable homes. However, the family dynamic shouldn’t matter. Everyone knows that not every family is the same. No one should judge stability based off of someone’s opinion of “traditional” families. People, from single parents to married gay couples, or otherwise, should be allowed the freedoms to choose how they want to bring their child in this world. As long as it is loved and cared for, what else matters?