Foreign tourists visit India by the hundreds each year to hire surrogate moms to carry their babies for them.
It's a bargain for the would-be parents, costing them around $23,000, or about one fifth of the going rate here in the U.S., according to Time. The surrogate mom typically gets about $7,500 – paid in installments.
Now, though, the booming rent-a-womb industry in India, which has become the international capital of outsourced pregnancies, will soon be subject to new restrictions that will make it harder for foreigners to hire a surrogate.
Under consideration now is a government bill banning IVF clinics from arranging surrogacy transactions, and calling for the establishment of an "ART bank" that would locate surrogate moms and reproductive donors. Only on the operating table would the fertility clinic have contact with the surrogate.
While some in the medical community may not like the new legislation, it may mean a better life for India's surrogate moms, who could have more freedom in negotiating their fees and getting health insurance from the couple or single who has hired them to carry a baby. The new law would only permit a woman to be a surrogate up to five times and would set a 35-year age limit. This is to ensure that Indian women desperate to be surrogates can't put themselves at risk.