The Global Rent-A-Womb Industry Is Hit With New Laws, That Will Make It Difficult For Westerners Seeking Offshore Surrogate Wombs.

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BANGKOK, Thailand — In the era of globalized trade, there are few things Westerners can’t outsource. The clothes on our backs are made in Bangladesh. The gadgets we adore? China. Our morning dose of coffee comes from Brazil, Vietnam and beyond.

Even Western babies can be nurtured in the bellies of foreign women — each one paid to endure pregnancy and the pangs of childbirth. Those arrangements, facilitated by the global surrogacy industry, have boomed in the past decade.

But there are signs that this trade in surrogate services is up against a formidable backlash.

Westerners seeking offshore surrogate wombs have largely flocked to countries such as India, Nepal, Thailand and Mexico. After paying agencies roughly $50,000, couples find a woman willing to carry their embryo, which is implanted by willing doctors. Once agencies extract their fees, the payout to the surrogate is as little as $4,000.

That model is now failing. All of the above countries are issuing or finalizing laws that will make hiring surrogates difficult if not impossible for foreigners.

The countries’ common rationale: Ethical concerns trump economic gains — even in India, where the surrogacy trade is estimated at $400 million per year.

“They view their women’s wombs as being exploited,” says Donna Dickenson, a University of London medical ethics professor and an expert in the global surrogacy trade. “There is a history of colonialism, of extracting raw materials from colonies, and that is something these countries have to contend with.”

“For them to see their babies as another one of those raw materials? I think there there’s something to that,” Dickenson says. “Even though that’s clearly not how Western couples see it.”

More key lawmakers in these countries are troubled by the specter of wealthy foreigners tapping their women as proxy child bearers. And they are staking their claims on moral and nationalistic grounds.

One Thai lawmaker intends to “stop Thai women’s wombs from becoming the world’s womb.”

In India, legislators are passing laws restricting surrogacy to straight citizens who are “duly married.” In Mexico’s Tabasco State, once a hotbed of surrogacy, the trade is now barred to foreigners. Oneleading lawmaker calls it “a new form of exploitation of women.”

There is indeed a dark side to the global surrogacy trade. One agency that formerly operated in Thailand, previously investigated by GlobalPost, described pregnancy like an unfortunate illness in its marketing materials. The symptoms: “loss of intimacy” and “growing out of shape” as well as “birth pangs.”

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Pope Francis to Mexican Ruling Elite “Public officials Must Be Honest And Upright, And Not Be Seduced By Privilege Or Corruption”

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Mexican leader and other members of the government that public officials must be honest and upright and not be seduced by privilege or corruption.Pope Francis has kicked off his first trip to Mexico, riding past cheering crowds in his popemobile, before issuing tough messages to the country’s political and religious elite.

As his vehicle pulled out of the residence where he is staying, the pontiff stopped to greet elderly, sick and disabled people who had gathered outside.


Tens of thousands more lined his motorcade route to the heart of Mexico City as Francis enjoyed a warm welcome from the largest Spanish-speaking Catholic country in the world.

The welcome contrasted sharply with the pope’s subsequent pointed criticism of how church and state leaders in Mexico have failed their people, especially the poor and marginalised.

Pope And Patriarch Meet After 1,000-Year Rift

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis embrace in Havana

 Pope Meets Patriarch

Francis headed to the presidential palace, where he met President Enrique Pena Nieto.

He told the Mexican leader and other members of the government that public officials must be honest and upright and not be seduced by privilege or corruption.

Francis said: “Experience teaches us that each time we seek the path of privileges or benefits for a few to the detriment of the good of all, sooner or later the life of society becomes a fertile soil for corruption, drug trade, exclusion of different cultures, violence and also human trafficking, kidnapping and death, bringing suffering and slowing down development.”

In another hard-hitting speech, this time to his own bishops, Francis challenged church leaders known for their deference to Mexico’s wealthy and powerful to denounce the “insidious threat” posed by the drug trade and to not hide behind their own privilege and careers.

He told them to be closer to their people and to develop a coherent plan to help Mexicans “finally escape the raging waters that drown so many, either victims of the drug trade or those who stand before God with their hands drenched in blood, though with pockets filled with sordid money and their consciences deadened”.

The speech drew a lukewarm reaction, with only a handful of bishops giving the pope a standing ovation.

Francis will finish his day with a Mass at the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe and a silent prayer before the icon.

On Friday, Pope Francis arrived in the capital to adoring crowds waving yellow handkerchiefs.

President Nieto and his wife met Francis on a red carpet, with onlookers cheered as the three walked together.

The Mexico trip follows a brief but historic meeting in Cuba on Friday with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, a reconciliatory move following a 1,000-year split in Christianity.



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