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Made in India at Macon Film Festival

February 2011
Made in India at Macon Film Festival Renting a womb in India is not hard. The proper name for it is Reproductive Tourism—meaning, those experiencing problems conceiving a baby can hire a surrogate mother in India. Surrogacy India, one among many such clinics, points out that their focus is “in fertility, not infertility.” This thriving business in India is worth over $450 million.

Why India, though?

Medical Tourism—with up-to-date facilities and competent, English-speaking professionals—is well established in Indian cities, but more important, the cost of surrogacy for one child comes to about $12,000. In the U.S., it could be six times as much. Nevertheless, as a documentary called Made in India shows, this outsourcing of surrogacy has a complicated side. In the film, Vaishali Sinha and Rebecca Haimowitz, the co-producers and co-directors, explore “revealing questions of citizenship, human rights, global practices, choice, reproductive rights, commodification of the body, legal accountability and notions of motherhood.”

Made in India is being screened this month at the Macon Film Festival in Georgia. It’s a narrative film that tells the story of an American couple who cannot afford the medical costs in this country. They travel to India and, through a fertility clinic, meet a young woman from an impoverished background. Though initially baffled by the concept, she decides to become a surrogate mother. They get their child and she gets her money, but the mutually beneficial arrangement also raises thorny questions that have no easy answers. This documentary, according to Realscreen magazine, “takes a balanced approach to the sensitive issue of Westerners looking to the Third World for surrogacy.”

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