Indian surrogates for Norwegian women increase

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Indian women acting as surrogates for Norwegians are giving birth to a baby a week for Norwegian parents, as an increase in surrogacy tourism is met by a continued domestic ban on the method within Norway.

Magazine Plot has revealed that the trend for Norwegians to seek foreign surrogates is on the increase in India, with the rate of one baby per week being registered with the embassy in New Delhi this year. That’s up dramatically from the 17 registered in total during 2010. India as a whole is a growing market for this and other related treatments, with the fertility industry estimated to grow to NOK 13 billion (USD 2 billion) by 2012.

Meanwhile, in Norway itself, the agency charged with evaluating social and ethical issues associated with modern biotechnology, the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board (Bioteknologinemnda), has decided to recommend the continuation of the  domestic ban on surrogacy. A majority of the independent board’s 21 members are reported by Plot to believe that surrogacy exploits poorer women who do not have access to full information regarding surrogacy, and benefits older, richer women who wish to avoid suffering during their own pregnancy.

Berge Solberg, a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet, NTNU), described surrogacy as “almost unnatural.” However, one board member, Kristin L Eiklid, spoke for the minority at Bioteknologinemnda who wish to legalize the practice, stating that “it is better that we offer surrogacy in a controlled form in Norway than that we risk the exploitation of poor women.”

Views and News staff