Surrogacy Shift: Indian Elite Look to U.S. Following India’s 2022 Regulations, Echoing Previous Trend Seen Among Chinese Parents
— Deepak Gulati
NEW YORK, NY, US, August 8, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — With India’s new surrogacy regulations introduced in 2022 restricting many potential parents, including singles, widows and those wanting sex selection options from turning to surrogacy within their homeland, the Indian elite are looking towards the U.S. to fulfill their dreams of expanding their families. The shift is analogous to the trend previously observed among the Chinese wealthy, who sought “designer” American babies both for family expansion and the benefits of U.S. citizenship.
Surrogacy in USA based agencies are witnessing an increasing demand from Indians who, due to the Indian laws, are looking at the U.S. not just for the surrogacy services but also for the possibility of U.S. citizenship for their offspring. Once these children turn 21, they could potentially sponsor green cards for their parents, making it a strategic long-term choice for many.
Under the new work permit laws that became law in the USA in June 2023, some Immigration lawyers feel that they can reduce this waiting time. It may be possible for an Indian national to come to the USA on a Tourist Visa, claim financial hardship to support the baby and with the aid of competent Immigration Counsel, get an immediate work permit followed by a Green Card in a couple of years.
There is not concrete data to quantify the exact numbers of Indians seeking U.S. surrogacy. However, the rising demand has prompted U.S. fertility clinics and surrogacy agencies to adapt, with many now offering services tailored to the needs and preferences of Indian clients.
New York based Surrogacy4All and its sister agency, Indian Egg Donors, which had previously noted an increased interest from China, now reveals that inquiries from India have been growing steadily. The agency’s president, Deepak Gulati, shared, “We’ve seen a significant uptick in serious discussions with Indian families over the past year. We’re anticipating this trend to continue, especially with the recent surrogacy law changes in India.”
Surrogacy in the U.S. does not come cheap, and the costs involved ensure that it remains an option primarily for the affluent. The entire process, including medical procedures, legal fees, and surrogate compensation, can run anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000 or even more.
Until the recent legal changes in 2015, India was a preferred destination for international intended parents seeking affordable surrogacy services. Now, with the Indian community’s own elite looking elsewhere, U.S. agencies find themselves navigating the cultural and logistical nuances of serving this new clientele.
One of the significant draws for Indian parents, besides the prospect of U.S. citizenship for their child, is the high standard of medical care in the United States. This, coupled with the advanced fertility treatments available, makes the U.S. an attractive option for many.
While surrogacy in India was typically more commercially oriented, U.S. agencies often promote and value the forging of personal relationships between surrogates and intended parents. This shift in dynamic is something that many Indian families are now navigating and appreciating.
At least one agency promotes surrogacy as a much cheaper alternative to America’s EB-5 visa, which requires a minimum investment in a job creating business of $800,000 to obtain a Green Card.
Like their Chinese counterparts, many Indians keep the fact that their child was born via surrogacy discreet, sometimes even emulating signs of pregnancy.
However, India and China differ in their motivations and challenges. While Chinese parents previously sought to bypass their country’s one-child policy, Indian parents are mainly seeking alternatives due to surrogacy restrictions and the desire for U.S. citizenship advantages and the ability to have male children – which sex selection is banned in India.
A growing number of pregnant Indian women travel to America to obtain U.S. citizenship for their children by delivering there, often staying in homes with friends and relatives with little publicity, to cater to their needs. While the numbers are unclear, giving birth in America is now so commonplace that it was the subject of a hit romantic comedy movie, “Finding Mr. Right”. . Dr. Pooja Patel said that prospective Indian clients almost always want to choose U.S. citizenship for their babies, while other agencies pointed to a desire to have children educated in the United States.
Like the Chinese, Indians also value the opportunity to craft their child’s genetic future. Many opt for genetic screenings to ensure inherited conditions are ruled out, and there is a growing interest in egg and sperm donation, often with a preference for specific genetic traits. U.S. agencies, equipped with advanced IVF technologies, are more than capable of assisting in this “designer baby” approach.
A growing number, though, are open to egg donation. Often Indian Intended Parents will seek ethnically Indian egg donors, commonly with Ivy League degrees. But others want tall, Eurasian children. “Lots of clients that are Indian do use tall blond donors,” said Reeta Rehman, case coordinator at Indian Egg Donors, a New York-based agency where 50 percent of clients are Indians. Agents said that clients believe these taller, bi-racial children will be smarter and better looking.
Indian clients also often request male babies, a consequence of a cultural preference for boy children. While sex-selective abortion is illegal – though still common – in India, gender selection is technically straightforward through IVF in the United States, where it is used in surrogacy cases. Genetic screening also allows intended parents to rule out inherited conditions. “You can basically make a designer baby nowadays,” said Dr. Patel.
In conclusion, the surrogacy landscape is rapidly evolving. With countries like India introducing more restrictive laws, nations like the U.S. with advanced medical systems and favorable citizenship policies are becoming the new focal points for affluent international intended parents.
As the dynamics shift, it is essential for surrogacy agencies to remain adaptable and sensitive to the unique needs and preferences of their diverse clientele.