Co-directed and produced by filmmakers Rebecca Haimowitz and Vaishali Sinha, "Made in India," documents the journey of an infertile American couple, an Indian surrogate and the reproductive outsourcing business that brings them together.
In the film, viewers are introduced to Lisa and Brian Switzer, a couple from San Antonio that were unable to conceive and turned to a reproductive outsourcing company that matches couples with Indian surrogate mothers.
The couple was able to locate their surrogate, Aasia, through Planet Hospital, a medical tourism company.
Many, like N.B. Sarojini of the Sama Resource Group for Women and Health, worry about what is happening to the surrogates and about their diets and regimes.
Brian Switzer also worried.
He wrote about his situation and asked for opinions through an online discussion group. According to Brian, people started saying things like the use of surrogates is a disgusting and immoral practice to begin with, but then to farm it out like cheap labor to women in India, we should be disgusted and ashamed.
This is what Brian wrote in return: "The surrogates are well-compensated in line with their local economy. I have seen poverty unlike anything I could have imagined. And knowing what this process is going to do for the surrogate and her family in the long run makes me realize that this is a very good thing for all parties involved."
Aasia gave birth to twin girls. And after navigating some legal hurdles, Brian and Lisa brought them home to Texas.
"Made in India" is being screened at film festivals here in the U.S. and abroad. It is part of a partnership between PBS NewsHour and The Economist magazine showcasing the art of filmmaking.
"You know, a woman a lot of times defines herself by her ability to have children. I just can't imagine being without kids. I wanted to be a mother since I was about 25 years old, and here I am turning 40." Lisa Switzer
"We have all the answers, I mean, the whole process, from, you know, which surrogate clinician they go to, all the way to, you know, what's our legal problems and how do I bring my babies back? " Rudy Rupak, Planet Hospital
1. What is infertility?
2. What is surrogacy?
3. Do you know anyone who has had a baby through a surrogate mother?
1. What is the difference between surrogacy and adoption?
2. Why are couples traveling outside the U.S. to find surrogates?
3. How do you feel about surrogacy? Discuss.