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Would you like to have a baby through surrogacy because of infertility, being part of a gay couple, or even because you don't want the stress of being pregnant and giving birth? You could always "rent a womb" from one of nearly 1,000 completely unregulated fertility and surrogacy clinics in India as a growing number of people in the UK are doing, according to the British Telegraph. Commercial surrogacy is not allowed in Great Britain, and there has been talk about parents who had their babies in that way in other countries could lose parental rights before (see: pay your international surrogate, lose the right to your child?).

This hasn't happened in practice though, and a report in the Telegraph says that Britons who have used Indian surrogates include celebrities, senior civil servants, and CEOs. Last year, around 2,000 surrogate babies were born in India all in clinics totally unregulated by the government. The business is estimated to be worth around 1.5 billion on an annual basis. Apparently, British citizens are the most frequent surrogacy clients. Of course, most people who turn to surrogate mothers, fertility clinics, and often egg donors have genuine fertility problems. They may not be able to carry a pregnancy to term, could have had many failed IVF attempts, be gay, or not have a uterus.

One doctor quoted in the Telegraph report said, shockingly, that a growing number of women is opting to have another person gestate her baby over concerns that the pregnancy and birth would affect her career or ruin her body. That's hard to believe, but the "baby factory" idea is now a concern for the Indian government too. Dr Radhey Sharma was tasked by the Indian government to look into the fertility clinics, how they work and how many there are. He said: Nobody in India actually knows for sure how many babies are born through these commercial enterprises and how many places are involved. I have the database of some 600 IVF clinics in India, but that is not a complete list. There could be around 400 more clinics operating without any regulation.

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