New Delhi: Life is no longer a gift of love; it is being created with care to fit specifications furnished by parents in the age of surrogacy and in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), says award-winning writer Kishwar Desai.
Desai’s new social thriller Origins of Love (Simon & Schuster) probes the world of surrogacy and designer babies.
“India is becoming a baby factory. Last year over 25,000 babies were born out of IVF and surrogacy in India. Rich people in the country can afford designer babies now,” Desai told IANS in an interview.
“Earlier it was a form of colonisation, but now studies show the numbers are divided equally — 50 per cent of surrogate babies are born to rich Indian parents and 50 per cent to foreigners by Indian surrogates…,” said the writer, quoting figures from the research she undertook for writing her book and columns.
Desai’s novel is a sequel to her first book — Witness by Night — on female foeticide.
The thread is Simran Singh, a feisty middle-aged social worker and a single mother from the first book, who carries the narrative forward.
“I have taken my book beyond the new Bollywood movie, Vicky Donor, which is about sperm donation and shows it as a comfort zone. I wanted to explore the discomfort zone. The kids born of the same DNA (eggs) might carry an infected strain of it.”