08/24/2015, 00.00
Send to a friend

Legislative vacuum leads to surrogacy boom in Nepal

by Christopher Sharma
Nepal is attracting foreign companies and couples because of its existing facilities and low costs. Several local private hospitals are equipped with the necessary technology, although, according to experts, the lack of legislation can create problems, such as many poor women forced by their husbands to become surrogate mothers.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – The lack of a proper legislative framework has helped Nepal become a major centre for surrogacy in South Asia.

Taking advantage of the legislative void, several private clinics have been equipped with the technology needed to implant fertilised eggs from foreign couples into local women.

Several foreign companies are interested in the Nepali market, because of lower costs than in the West.

According to Nepal’s Health Ministry, when mother, father and the surrogate mother are foreigners and they want to have the child born in Nepal, they can do so upon payment of a fee.

However, some experts believe that surrogacy without a proper legislative framework can lead to several problems.

For Family Health Division chief Pushpa Chaudhary, “The practice should be banned until a law is adopted.” Indeed, "What if a woman dies during childbirth?” she asks. “All this can turn into a great evil if we cannot monitor it through a law."

In addition, "Poverty is widespread in our society,” she adds. “Oppressed by poverty, many women are ready to become surrogate mothers for money. Many husbands push pressure on their wives to do this because they can get up to half a million rupees” (about US$ 5,000).

“This can cause many problems and health risks. For instance, in the case of twins, couples may take only one,” Pushpa explained. Because of this, Thailand banned the practice.

More broadly in South Asia, surrogacy is very risky because extreme poverty can lead to abuse. This is what happened when some countries in the region (including Vietnam) legalised kidney transplants. Many poor people felt compelled to sell their organs to survive.

According to the World Health Organisation, at least 10,000 surgical operations are performed every year for the purpose of illegal organs sale.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Church leads the way in helping Vietnam cope with its educational emergency
11/03/2016 17:00
Teachers’ strike jeopardising students’ future
India's infertility clinics, the other side of surrogacy in India
Seoul wants to promote health tourism, but opposition grows in Jeju
14/03/2023 12:14
Two gay Singapore men adopt boy born to a surrogate mother
17/12/2018 16:24


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”