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Deeply Talks: Should Foreign Couples Be Able to Use Indian Surrogates?

Women & Girls speaks with Sharmila Rudrappa, director of the Center for Asian American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and reporter Flora Bagenal, about the debate on whether commercial surrogacy should be legal for foreign couples in India.

Written by Megan Clement, Jihii Jolly Published on Read time Approx. 1 minutes
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Indian Surrogate mothers gather for a peaceful protest in 2015, after the Indian government said it would ban foreigners from using surrogate mothers in the country. Sam Panthaky/AFP via Getty Images

Should India embrace or reject commercial surrogacy for foreign couples? The government banned the practice in April this year, but clinicians and activists are urging a repeal, arguing the country is best placed to provide ethical and well-remunerated surrogacies for couples in the developed world who want to conceive.

In our recent op-ed and video, produced in collaboration with The Conversation, Sharmila Rudrappa, director of the Center for Asian American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, explains that while India’s restrictions on commercial surrogacy have pleased some ethicists and advocates, bans can often make the practice more dangerous.

On this episode of Deeply Talks, Rudrappa and senior reporter Flora Bagenal, who is working on a forthcoming documentary about surrogacy, discuss why the debate is so charged, how the surrogacy experience differs for U.S. clients and Indian surrogate mothers and how the domestic political context in India is driving such rapid policy changes.

Listen to the 30-minute discussion here:

Deeply Talks is a regular feature, bringing together our network of readers and expert contributors to examine the latest developments on issues affecting women and girls in the developing world. To join future Deeply Talks, make sure you are signed up to the Women & Girls newsletter.

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