Selected news stories from the international press relating to Asian (In)Fertilities:
Foreigners opt for Indian sperm - MidDay News
(15 January 2010)
Docs witness the birth of a trend where white-skinned foreigners are now opting for wheatish, dark skinned Indian sperm and egg donors
A firang couple having an Indian kid? Impossible, you might think. But that's the trend these days, say desi doctors. Spurred by the rising acceptability, given the high level of education in Indian donors and high price of foreign donors, foreigners are visiting India for fertility tourism, opting for Indian sperm and egg donors. For US-based financial planner Eilena Young (36) it was a spur-of-the-moment decision, which she says she hasn't regretted. "At first I thought of having a sperm donor who had the same skin colour. But when I came to India I realised that back home it was a very expensive and otherwise unnecessary process. Sperm donors here are healthy, educated. In fact, here I get a wider choice," said Young, who is from Illinois. Young has a two-year-old daughter called Sarah and though it was initially difficult for her parents to accept an Asian-looking kid in their family, she said things have worked out quite well. Though small in number currently, doctors say that they have treated white-skinned single parents and even couples like Young who have opted for Indian sperm or egg donors. Ethnic origins Dr Sanjeev Khurd was surprised to see an American couple walk in to his centre for infertility, a few months ago, asking for an Indian egg donor. "Usually, couples would go to any extent to get a donor from the same ethnic origin. It also made sense then because acceptance in society was an issue. For example imagine an Indian couple having a blue-eyed boy. But off late I am surprised there have been cases where foreign couples are open to the idea of Indian donors," he said. Dr Anjali Malpani from Mumbai said that she has seen this happen often with patients who are pre-counselled. "Usually patients have this notion that India is poor and people must be malnourished and uneducated. But, when we have counselled them, and showed them the background of donors some donors are young medical students or engineers they are really impressed," said Malpani. She said that on an average seven out of 10 foreign patients are fine with the idea of an Indian donor. New trend At Dr Nandita Palshetkar's clinic in Mumbai, one in five foreign couples usually opts for Indian donors. "The trend is visible in mixed marriages, where the husband and wife have different nationalities. Single parents and young educated couples below 30 are also open to this idea." Dr Sunita Tandulwadkar, IVF specialist at Pune's Ruby Hall Clinic says that the trend is partly driven by non-availability of quality foreign sperm and egg donors. "I don't deny that there are many young foreigners who are open to the idea of having Indians as donors. But, partly the reason is that there may be banks where they can get foreign donors, but their education background and health status is not as impressive," she says.