Friday, February 09, 2007

The growing embryo market :: The Times

Extracts from The Times:
Wendy Duncan and her husband Brian are white. Nineteen months ago, the Lincolnshire housewife gave birth to a beautiful, healthy, Indian daughter.

Freya, brown-skinned and dark-eyed, is not a medical miracle after a long and fruitless quest through IVF and adoption, but the product of a booming industry in India that is offering embryos for adoption.

India is fast cornering what is forecast as a £3 billion-a-year market in “reproductive tourism”. It has highly trained, English-speaking doctors and medical procedures that cost a third of the price charged in Europe
Being white and already having a mixed-race child (from Mrs Duncan’s previous relationship) meant that they failed the criteria for a normal adoption.

IVF was unsuccessful and expensive for a family relying on Mr Duncan’s income as a lorry driver. The older Mrs Duncan got, the less the chance there was of any fertility treatment working.

Their options were running out until they stumbled upon a website for the Bombay clinic. It was an easy choice.

“Last time, I knew I was pregnant within three days. It was quick - just like having a smear,” she said. “Couples wait years in the UK for egg donation . . . So when we heard about this, we thought ‘Why not?’ If the standards were the same [as British ones], then we didn’t have a problem. And they were. In fact, we were able to get a lot more information. We weren’t just a number.”

The Duncans had no qualms about bearing a child of a different race. They are Freya’s natural birth parents and legal guardians in British law.

“To us colour is not an issue. I already have a mixed-race daughter, whose father is Arab, from a previous relationship,” Mrs Duncan said.
Wow. Better quality, lower price and faster service. And no barriers - in reference to the rules against mixed-race adoption.

Putting my on my normative hat, I have to say what is wrong with mixed race adoption? Indeed, wouldn't it be better if Mrs Duncan had been allowed to exercise her preference to adopt a mixed-race child in the UK, rather buying an embryo in India?

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