Monday, 30 March 2015

Baby Makers by Gira Aravamudan: a review

Books on society and culture are something that are not much in the trend now a days, with so many ‘fiction’ tales coming up in front, non-fiction has taken a backseat. But when I saw this book, I couldn’t stop myself from admiring the authoress for taking up a topic which most writers don’t pick up. Yes, Baby Makers by Gita Aravamudan is about the story of Indian surrogacy. The blurb of the book added fuel to the fire of my desire to read the book at one go.

According to the blurb- The baby makers are many. The couples who supply the genetic material, the embryologists who create test-tube babies, the gynecologists who insert embryos into wombs and deliver the babies and, most importantly, the surrogates themselves. Then there are the agents who source the surrogates, organize fertility tourism packages and even arrange for babies to be ordered over the Internet using frozen genetic material supplied by the intending parents. Eggs, sperm and viable embryos can be bought and sold like any commodity. The terrain is complex; there are many thorny ethical issues involved and very delicate emotional ones too. This is a book about surrogacy in India and how it transformed itself from a marginalized and socially unacceptable procedure into a multimillion dollar industry. It is a non-judgmental, open-minded enquiry into surrogacy laws (rather, the lack of them) and the many cogs in the process. Baby makers’ uses rigorous journalistic research and compelling personal narratives to paint a picture that is as fascinating as it is frightening.

Yes, just as the blurb says, the book is about Indian surrogacy. To begin with, I would like to congratulate the authoress on writing this book with such extensive research work to back it up. The language used throughout the book is a very easy to understand and simple. No fancy words have been used to make it look articulated; instead the writing shows that it has been written for the mass. Coming to the story, there isn’t only 1 story the book has shown. It is a combination of a few stories taken up from the real life of the whole cycle of surrogacy.

The book has shown parts of all of the cycle, starting from the surrogate, to the condition of the surrogacy house. Apart from all that, it has also shown the condition of the couple who are hiring the surrogate and the whole process in extensive detail. At the end of the book, you might just give your heart out to the characters inside the book. How the process is commenced and then completed. The highs and lows of the surrogates and the people who have hired and finally the process of taking the babies back to their own country. The whole process is very well described. The addition of the ‘laws’ of surrogacy has added to be the cherry on the cake for the readers.


This book can anytime be a must read for the people who want to opt for surrogacy, for they will be able to know all the intricacies involved in the process and then they can make up their mind on what to do and what not. The examples given in the book of the few cases related to surrogacy and the problems one might face is also an eye opener. Yes, it is true that today it has become a multi-million dollar business. The cons of the book, which I felt was that a few pictorial representations should’ve been there to make them more understandable. Apart from that, I don’t find any other con to speak about. A must read. I would like to rate the book 4.75 out of 5.

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