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Where women are victims in the breeding business

Monday, August 13, 2012

Origins of Love by Kishwar Desai is a very thought-provoking book. While on one level it looks at the sad story of British couple Kate and Ben, their desire to have a baby, the tragedy of one more miscarriage and its terrible effect on Kate, it also exposes the seamier side of the IVF and surrogacy ‘industry’ which actually exists in India. In the story, there is a bunch of couples from the west who have sent embryos in canisters into the country from where they find women who can host them through the gestation process.

Drs. Subhash and Anita Pandey, along with Dr. Ashok Ganguly, run the state-of-the-art Madonna and Child Clinic in Gurgaon, which is a fertility clinic offering a rent-a-womb facility. The agent, Sharma, is a seedy wheeler-dealer type who procures women driven to this largely due to poverty. Social worker Simran Singh, who has tried to get herself impregnated in London, of all the places, by a man who hires himself out for this purpose, ends up exposing the intensely corrupt underbelly of this million-dollar industry, where even the customs officials and the police are culpable. 

Origins of Love
by Kishwar Desai
Simon & Schuster

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