Amitabh Bachchan has been a larger than life figure in my childhood and adolescence and certainly epitomised my idea of a movie star! I have always admired his acting skills and recently have come to appreciate his writing skills on his blog... though perhaps not the content.
Recently his noisy rants have been colorful and mildly amusing being that they come from his august mind. In a post on his blog he writes about gestational surrogacy and his feelings about that phenonmenon. His thoughts are buried in this post.
As someone who has gone through the entire wretched and excruciating process of fertility treatment, I was disturbed by his remarks. But then he can be excused. He and several others with hardline opinions have perhaps not walked a single step in the painful shoes marked infertility.
For me and my husband, while the process was long and sometimes felt hopeless we were blessed to have two children.
Has the experience left us completely unscathed? Perhaps not. The psyche is scarred and the joyous presence of our kids is still an incomplete balm. The entire process of fertility treatment has left us slightly different people. Very happy and content, but different. That my friends, is how big the issue of fertility is for many couples. For those who have not walked in our shoes to color the issues as good/evil in broad brush strokes is not warranted. To say children are merely commodities in our eyes makes a mockery of our desire to nuture a biological future generation.
I have written a comment on his blogpost and reproduce it here. Every blogpost of his generates a few hundred comments and perhaps my comment will get buried somewhere. So here it is for your reading pleasure and comment.
I do reccomend that you read his blogpost too so that you get reference to context. Let me know what you think.
My comment follows.
At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly and shaking a virtual finger at you, I have something to say about your view of surrogacy for those faced with fertility issues.
It really and truly takes someone who has been through the extremely hellish process that is dealing with fertility issues to understand the anguish, hopelessness and feelings of personal loss that women and men seeking a child are subjected to. As a veteran of that process, let me assure you that even my own beloved mother did not understand my pain during those excruciating years. There is no way she can understand (though she tried hard to see things through my eyes and heart)… just as I do not expect you or Kutty, Madan or Puri to understand unless they are face to face with the issue of thier own infertility.
Ofcourse it follows that desperate people seeking a biological child will follow through any avenue allowed by modern science and where legal issues are not insurmountable. Surrogacy is just one such avenue. Does it make someone less of a mother because she did not carry her child in her own womb? Is seeking an affordable surrogate a crime for middle class person? Do middle class people have no right to pursue that course and pay less for the procedure if the “birth” mother (and i use this term loosely) is being also benefited? Is the child going to be less loved because it was not nourished by its nurturing mother’s placenta?
I think to color the entire issue in broad strokes with a black paint is wrong and is insensitive to those who struggle with fertility issues.
i hear so often… oh why dont they just adopt! yes, that is certainly an option but hearts and minds must come to terms with that eventuality when all other options are useless. Some decide to adopt and some cannot. Does it mean that the ones who decide not to adopt are incapable of loving a/thier child? ofcourse not! So why would I blacktar the issue of a possible surrogacy without considering that there are many shades of grey to that decision… just as there are so many in life.
Yes, i do agree with you that laws need to be carefully examined to allow for all circumstances to be covered before the child is even concieved. In that and in adoption laws, India needs a huge wake up call. However to denigrate the avenue of surrogacy as lacking in human values of parental love and affection is wrong. For some of us, it is the only way out.