London: Britain is the single biggest source of clients for India's booming 1.5 billion pounds surrogacy industry known as the 'baby factory', a media report said on Sunday.

The agency reported that there were nearly 1,000 unregulated clinics in India, many specialising in helping Britons become parents.

Britons reportedly pay an average of 25,000 pounds for a child produced using surrogate mothers in India.

"It is estimated that 2,000 births to surrogate mothers took place in the country last year, with most experts agreeing that Britain is the biggest single source of people who want to become parents in this way," the report said.

"Britain may account for as many as 1,000 births last year in India. In contrast there were 100 surrogate births recorded in Britain last year", it said.

Women in India were being paid up to 6,000 pounds to donate eggs and carry babies, something British women are banned from doing, the report said and added that bankers, senior civil servants, executives at multinational companies and even National Health Service (NHS) doctors have become parents through surrogacy in India, according to British doctors.

There was also concern at the toll that becoming parents can have on Britons, as they face long waits in India to gain citizenship and passports for their babies, the report said, and added that currently British authorities can take up to a month before granting British citizenship to the children and weeks more to issue passports.

(Agencies)

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