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Book proceeds to back rent-a-womb moms

Ordinarily it would have been yet another guidebook on surrogacy. But the sale proceeds of The Last Ray of Hope: Surrogate Mother-A Reality...

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: March 11, 2009 2:57:36 am

After guiding 232 registered surrogate mothers,earnings from the book to take care of their health concerns

Ordinarily it would have been yet another guidebook on surrogacy. But the sale proceeds of The Last Ray of Hope: Surrogate Mother-A Reality,will be used to fund the education and health costs of 232 women,who opted to be surrogate mothers,and their biological children – all spawned by Anand town’s Akanksha Fertility Clinic in recent times.

Courting international fame after making surrogacy a home industry in the town’s neighbourhood,fertility specialist Dr Nayna Patel has now melded entrepreneurship and medical achievement to egg philanthropy of a corporate kind.

After turning surrogacy motherhood into a virtual ‘rent a womb’ industry,the fertility clinic has now stepped in with a separate trust to take care of the social responsibility of the women who are opting to be surrogate mothers to fund their family finances.

The Anand Surrogate Trust,formed by Dr Patel,published the book,The Last Ray of Hope: Surrogate Mother – A Reality. Released on March 8,wedding womanhood to modern day practicality,it writes in steps,charts and illustrations,when surrogacy is needed,how it can be managed and what rewards it brings to whom.

Between the covers of this Rs 399 priced copy is a guide book,dispelling notions,candid photos of smiling surrogate mothers,scientific details written lucidly,and a survey that admits that it is financial rewards that eggs surrogacy.

Within the last five years,the clinic has,so far,232 women opting to be surrogate mothers,coming from the lower middle class families — healthy mothers,who use the fee — usually Rs 2.5 lakh,to build the family home or take care of their children’s educational needs.

Of the 232 women,more than a hundred have delivered babies successfully,while right now some 40 odd are carrying.

Author Karshan Bhadraka,whose wife works as an embroyologist with Dr Nayna explained,“There are continuous queries on the subject and couples have to travel all the way to Anand. Now we can sell this book,hoping to answer most of the basic queries. It tells exactly what surrogacy is,and all the financial,legal,social and ethical aspects.”

Besides the English and Gujarati version,the book is also available in Telugu. “There are regular inquiries from that region and we thought it fit to have a Telugu version too,” said Dr Nayna. She added that the English and Gujarati version will take care of the predominant Gujarati NRI and foreign clientele base.

Formed a year and half ago,the Anand Surrogate Trust also receives donations from happy parents — but anonymously.

“These couples are happy having a child,but they want to maintain anonymity as well,so the trust takes care of that kind of arrangement,” said Dr Patel. “We have 232 surrogate mothers and we plan to aid the higher education costs of the children of these women. The trust intends to do something to provide lifelong free health service to them. Right now we are already teaching them computer skills,” said Dr Patel,who is the chief editor of the book.

Dr Nayna’s surrogacy track record has invited international fame like an Oprah Winfrey show invite,Harvard University lecture and a BBC documentary,along with an Income Tax Department raid on her premises.

But Dr Patel said: “We had the papers in order and the IT people admitted that they came here following news reports.”

Dr Patel’s exploits has also inspired a play. Inspired by the news reports of the clinic,Mumbai-based Gujarati theatre scriptwriter Naushil Mehta has debuted a three-act Gujarati play,Miss Fool Gulabi,and intends to promote the book wherever the play is staged.

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