Samsara: Looking Deeper

Indian Surrogacy, the Ethics of Outsourcing, and more.

Lauren Yee, writer of Samsara, was first drawn to the topic of outsourcing surrogacy when she read an article on the topic in the New York Times. Since the article’s publication, more investigations have been launched into this questionably ethical, often exploitative, and largely ignored industry. Below is a sampling of research gathered by Single Carrot Theatre while working on this wonderfully funny, deeply important play.

India Nurtures Business of Surrogate Motherhood
Amelia Gentleman
The New York Times – March 10, 2008
An introduction to the world of “medical tourism” in India, and to the questions that plague the growing industry.


Produced by Molly Webster
Radiolab Podcast Articles – November 22, 2015
At first, this is the story of an Israeli couple, two guys, who go to another continent to get themselves a baby – three, in fact – by hiring surrogates…an earth shaking revelation shifts our focus from them to the surrogate mothers. Unfolding in real time, as countries around the world consider bans on surrogacy, this episode looks at a relationship that manages to feel deeply affecting, and deeply uncomfortable, all at the same time.

Outsourcing Surrogacy

Red Border Films
Time – September 26, 2015
Commercial surrogacy has been legal in India since 2002. With thousands of fertility clinics in the country, the industry is a source of both controversy and hope. At its heart are people like Dr. Nayna Patel and the surrogates at her clinic in Anand, India. They are joined by couples desperate to have a child. Director Shaul Schwarz made this film to document his cousing Arnon Magal and wife Melissa’s efforts to have a baby.

Inside India’s Rent-a-Womb Business

Scott Carney
Mother Jones – March/April, 2010
A deeper look at Doctor Nayna Patel (also featured in the above documentary) and the clinic and surrogates she manages.

Why Some of India’s Surrogate Moms Are Full of Regret

Julie McCarthy
NPR Weekend Edition – September 18, 2016
Isha Devi became a surrogate to help keep her family afloat. Her husband, a rickshaw driver, couldn’t work after an accident with a bus – and medical bills began mounting up.

How Commercial Surrogacy Became a Massive International Business

Arielle Pardes
Vice Film – January 13, 2016
In 2015, India, Nepal, Thailand, and Mexico – nearly all the major markets for commercial surrogacy – banned the practice for foreigners. But the global demand isn’t going anywhere.

France to Legally Recognize Surrogate Children as French Citizens

Pierre-Louis Caron
Vice News – July 3, 2015
In a landmark ruling, France’s highest court has grated legal recognition to surrogate children that will allow them to share their parents’ nationality. Until this decision, children born abroad to a surrogate were not granted civil status by the state – and surrogacy itself remains prohibited in France.