Lost in surrogacy’s Bermuda Triangle

Just when you thought that surrogate motherhood could not get more bizarre and complicated, a news flash comes from Hyderabad, the centre of the Indian surrogacy industry. This story concerns J. Pearl Linda Van Buren Green, a 35-year-old New Yorker, and her son Emperor Kaioyus Van Buren Green, who are caught in a Bermuda Triangle of "red tapism" somewhere between the Big Apple, Jamaica and the Subcontinent. 

More than 18 months ago Ms Green flew to India with seven vials of frozen semen. Her husband, Eric Dalton Green, lives in Jamaica and could not come to India because he has a fear of flying. Ms Green visited clinics in Goa and Mumbai before hitting the jackpot in Hyderabad. There she found a clinic which provided donor eggs and a surrogate mother, both anonymous. Her son was born on December 7.

Then began her battle with Indian bureaucracy. Because she could not prove that her husband was the biological father, the government turned down her request for the baby's passport. in a huff, Ms Green stormed out of the passport office, leaving her bundle of joy on a bench. The police reviewed CCTV footage and after some inquiries, found Ms Green and returned the baby to her. They decided not to charge her with abandonment. Ms Green is still waiting for identity papers for the baby.

Fertility has become a significant industry in Hyderabad. The Calcutta Telegraph reports that “Many women from Andhra Pradesh’s drought-hit districts choose to become surrogate mothers to earn a few extra bucks for their impoverished families.” One clinic claimed that it has a list of “nearly 400 surrogate mothers” who can be contacted at short notice.

There are 50 or 100 surrogate births a month, although only a handful of these come from overseas. “Most of the clients are women from well-to-do Indian families who want to avoid childbirth so that their lifestyle, or body shape, is not affected,” said IVF specialist Srinivas Prasad. ~ Calcutta Telegraph, Jan 29

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