The surrogacy racket busted at the Kiran Infertility Centre in Banjara Hills area of the city showed the plight of surrogate mothers.
They have been experiencing an unfair treatment as the infertility centre is charging in as much as Rs 30 lakh from each childless couple, while women renting their wombs were being paid only Rs 30,000 or so by the center.
These surrogate mothers were easy targets as they come from broken and economically backward homes. They are now living in a constant state of fear as they have been literally left holding the baby and have no clue whether they will be eventually get the money promised to them.
“When signing up, surrogate mothers were promised Rs 5 lakh, but when they reached the centre, the amount was reduced by half and now they fear they won’t get any money as the centre is in the eye of a storm,” said G K Sunanda, district women welfare officer, adding that almost all surrogate mothers had got maximum of Rs 30,000 each till date.
Apprehensive the babies born through surrogacy may now end up in Shishu Vihars, state child welfare committee chairman Shyamala Devi said: “It is most unlikely the surrogate parents will now come forward to adopt the babies.Some women are in the eighth month of pregnancy and can go into labour at any time.”
Devi said no minor girls are involved in the racket and that all the women renting their wombs through the centre are aged between 21 and 30. “The youngest is a 21-year-old hailing for Jeedimetla, who is in her second month of pregnancy ,” Devi said, adding most women were either divorcees or separated.
Task Force DCP B Limba Reddy , who visited the Kiran Infertility Centre again on Tuesday, said that 52 women are still being `illegally confined’ there. “The Centre has no permission to run surrogacy procedures and was not following any rules,” said Reddy.
Officials from the state drugs control department too visited the centre on Tuesday.
“Surrogate mothers, at the centre were so terrified that they tried to hide in washrooms when `outsiders’ visited the centre,” said G K Sunanda, district women welfare officer.