Did anyone catch Oprah last week? She covered one of the most fascinating forms of global marketing I have ever seen.
Women from India are being surrogate mothers for other women all around the world. Now that's the most unusual form of outsourcing labour (no pun intended) that I ever heard of. Apparently there is a clinic in India run by a professional medical doctor and her staff. The medical procedures are done at this high-tech clinic with hopeful moms and dads making the journey around the world to India and living there for three weeks. The women in India must meet certain criteria with regards to health and age and must have children already. (The clinic has a 44 per cent success rate.) All of the pertinent procedures are done and the couple waits for the news. If successful they return for the final three weeks of the pregnancy and delivery and finally return home with their new baby.
Now the reason this is so amazing to me is multi level. Some people say it is taking advantage of cheap labour (there I go again) however all women know labour is anything but cheap. It is indescribably painful but not cheap!
The fee paid to the women in India is around $5,000, making a difference in their lives that they could not otherwise achieve.
The Indian women described the changes this money made as giving them a safe comfortable home for their family, with a kitchen that they have designed and most importantly an education for their children. Moving them from living in a leaking hut with no education for their children and everyone in a single room, under crushing poverty.
Not only does the woman who runs the clinic help the women surrogate earn the money, she invests the money and hires the contractors for their homes that she knows will be credible workers. This certainly seems to be a great example of women helping women, and families helping families.
The American couple interviewed said their lives were changed in many ways. They were almost out of hope as they had spent their life's savings on trying to get pregnant and local surrogacy was going to be round $30,000.
But then they came across this opportunity and found their answers half way around the world. They became educated on another part of the world and formed a unique bond with the people helping them. The women were able to help each other in a profound way, in their gifts to each other's families.
In the past when the conversation fell on a roomful of women, "Would you surrogate?", I've always expressed a firm, "No way." Some women said they enjoyed pregnancy and childbirth and it was a breeze and yet, I guess, if it was for my own children, my own family's safety, well-being and education, I'm sure I would. Makes you think!
Post Script: Having a baby is priceless and truly a labour of love (pun intended).