Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The country's booming market for surrogacy. - By Amana Fontanella-Khan - Slate Magazine

The country's booming market for surrogacy. - By Amana Fontanella-Khan - Slate Magazine: "But the usual empowerment vs. exploitation debate eludes something much more fundamental that the surrogate industry reflects about India. India has leap-frogged several stages of development and zoomed straight into a service economy. Indians stock call centers and tech help lines where Westerners can get their questions answered efficiently. In these centers, Indian youths temporarily adopt new personal identities by using Western names and accents—another, milder way that Indians act as 'surrogates,' or substitutes for Westerners. The country is romanced by the idea of selling human capital as its next great commodity. So surrogacy resonates not as an old problem of exploiting the poor but as an inevitable part of the 'new India,' where the locals provide much needed services for the new global economy. This kind of forward-thinking economic liberation dovetails with an ideology of personal freedom. 'I think women should be free to choose what they do with their bodies,' says Dr. Aniruddha Malpani, a fertility specialist in Mumbai. 'We shouldn't treat them as stupid just because they are poor.'

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