Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

An in-depth look at surrogacy in India

India has in recent years become an international hotspot for surrogacy and cross-border fertility care. EU-funded research delved into this phenomenon, looking at both the offer and demand sides.
An in-depth look at surrogacy in India
The project SURROG-INDIA (Micro-realities of surrogacy in India) studied this biomedical practice employing a gender perspective and through the discourses and experiences of various stakeholders.

One main aim was to gain insight into the medical organisation of surrogacy and the legal and political framework. Another was to determine key characteristics of intended parents and surrogates, to shed light on their motivations and the effect these choices have on their socioeconomic circumstances.

The research focused on social, economic, demographic, medical and cultural issues, as well as experiences at play for stakeholders and the role of third parties (e.g. agencies, media and clinics). SURROG-INDIA interviewed 8 intended parents, 32 assisted reproductive technologies and surrogacy experts/professionals, and 33 surrogates from Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi. Data was also collected from other field studies and from two agency websites for Indian and international intended parents.

Research results fall into four main areas of inquiry: India as the main international destination for surrogacy; profiles, history and motivations of intended parents and surrogates; taboo of surrogacy in India; and surrogacy as revealing women's conditions and biomedical power in India.

Data analysis and results have been published in a bibliographical work, a press review and at least two articles. SURROG-INDIA also established a specific bibliographic database.

Project work and outcomes have also been incorporated in a co-edited book, 'Assisted Reproductive Technologies in the Global South and North – Issues, Challenges and the Future'. Further, SURROG-INDIA took on a co-organising role for the first international conference on surrogacy in Paris in November 2016.

SURROG-INDIA's examination of the various impacts and issues concerning surrogacy has provided empirical data on the topic. The work highlighted the current reality, beyond what has been portrayed by the media and activists, and contributes to a new research area on this undocumented practice.

Related information


Surrogacy, India, SURROG-INDIA, biomedical, intended parents, surrogates, assisted reproductive technologies
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