Melbourne: Rising number of Australians are turning to India for surrogacy arrangements to fulfil their parenting dreams, according to a new study. (Agencies)
India is being seen as a preferred destination for commercial surrogacy, followed by Thailand and the United States, according to the study by 'Surrogacy Australia', an agency involved in international surrogacy.
According to Herald Sun, the agency had found there were 200 recorded surrogacy births in India to Australian couples so far this year, compared to 179 in 2011, 86 in 2010 and 47 in 2009.
The research included Australian government statistics, data collected from 14 large overseas surrogacy agencies and a survey of 217 Australians.
The survey of heterosexual and same-sex Australians who had considered or sought out surrogacy found many households were refinancing their homes to afford the thousands of dollars in agency and travel costs.
The average cost of surrogacy in India was 77,000 Australian dollar while an arrangement in the US cost on average about 176,000 Australian dollar.
Half of those surveyed mortgaged or refinanced their home to pay for surrogacy, while 45 per cent cut their spending. Others took out a bank loan, borrowed from family or sold property.
Surrogacy Australia president Sam Everingham said the trend towards overseas surrogacy would continue "while Australia maintains laws and policies that make surrogacy quite difficult within Australia".
"We're getting very, very small numbers accessing surrogacy here," Everingham, who will present the research at the annual Fertility Society of Australia conference in Auckland on Monday, said.
"The research has shown that high levels of regulation within Australia and lower barriers in some overseas markets is shifting the practice of surrogacy offshore and it is a big industry," Everingham said.
Everingham said new visa laws enacted by India would prevent singles, same-sex and de facto couples from entering surrogacy agreements which could lead to a drop in numbers in coming years.
Melbourne: Rising number of Australians are turning to India for surrogacy arrangements to fulfil their parenting dreams, according to a new study.