Thursday, 17 May 2012
It's hard to understand how these people here in Gujarat think about Dr. Patel's clinic and the idea of surrogacy. It is for sure big business and not highly regulated in India, for now. Anand is not exactly a tourist destination, so the locals all must know implicitly that we white people are here to get a baby one way or another. When they're not trying to run us over with their motorbikes or rickshaws, locals on the street greet us with a friendly wave or smile. Matteo and I were not sitting together on the flight from Doha to Ahmedabad (lucky me, upgraded:). Separately our seat mates asked us why we were going to Anand. I answered honestly, to no response, while Matteo averted the question. It's hard to know how to navigate our situation is a conservative culture, where my dress always seems to be too revealing. We have mostly encountered those who work in businesses that benefit tremendously from this "baby-business". Here at the Rama, the drivers, runners, nannies, lawyers, doctors, they all seem to be accepting and happy to participate in our journey. The Rama is expanding, constructing another floor of rooms which could surely not happen without Dr. Patel. The workers who benefit from our "baby-tourism" are happy to be of service and don't shy away from the reality of the babies arrival, nor the complicated relationship with the surrogate. The city seems quite middle class, missing the abject poverty we witnessed in the New Delhi and Rajasthan. People seem to be making an honest living, supporting their families and generally pretty happy.