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Baby planning: Wombs for rent for career girls

Surrogacy is an emotionally intense process for all parties involved so it is somewhat surprising to note that some women would actually hire a womb because they want children but don't want to go through the childbirth themselves or they feel that it will impact their careers.

Busy career women are hiring wombs of other mothers to carry their babies rather than take time off work. Businesswomen, models, athletes and actresses in the US are opting for 'social surrogacy' to help cope with career pressure.

Other women are applying to clinics to rent wombs to avoid painful childbirth and stretchmarks. One 35 -year old Californian mother of three sons hired a woman to carry her fourth child to ensure she had a daughter and to protect her career prospects.

The procedure, using her own fertilised egg implanted in the surrogate's womb, was arranged for £43,000 by Conceptual Options, which is affiliated to University College Hospital, London.

She said: 'After three sons, I really wanted a daughter but didn't want the pregnancy to affect my career.'

The latest developments will anger traditional family values campaigners who already think medical advances have gone too far. Last week, it was revealed British couples were paying up to £17,000 to choose the sex of their babies at clinics in the US or Spain.

Experts believe it is only a matter of time before a child is conceived in this country using social surrogacy. The British Medical Association is sceptical about the development.

'Surrogacy is a serious step fraught with emotional risk and legal pitfalls. If natural childbirth is possible it is infinitely preferred,' it said.

Source: Metro, Monday, July 9, 2001

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