Vasanti is pregnant, but not with her own child – she is carrying a Japanese couple’s baby. For this she will be paid $8,000 (£4,967), enough to build a new house and send her own two children, aged five and seven, to an English-speaking school – something she never thought was possible.
“I’m happy from the bottom of my heart,” says Vasanti.
She was implanted with their embryo in the small city of Anand in Gujarat and will spend the next nine months living in a nearby dormitory with about 100 other surrogate mothers, all patients of Dr Nayna Patel.
There are up to 10 surrogate mothers in each room. The women have their meals and vitamins delivered to them and are encouraged to rest.
Here is more, and it is estimated that the sector in India is valued at about $1.5 billion a year. The individuals receiving the money have a problem, though:
“My parents will be pleased that their son and his wife have managed to build a house. Our status in society will go up, which will be a good thing.”
But the new house comes at a price. It will not be built in the same area as their old one, because of hostility from neighbours.
“If you are at home then everyone knows that we are doing surrogacy, that this is a test tube baby, and they use bad language. So then we can’t stay there safely,” says Vasanti.
For the pointer I thank Ray Lopez.