ensured that surrogacy has picked up majorly in Gujarat, especially in Anand, which has earned the reputation of a 'baby farm'. Exchanging her sojourn into surrogacy was Manishaben; a two-time surrogate mother and currently a nanny who hails from a village in Anand. "I lost my husband in 2008 and was left with three young daughters. A close female relative told me about surrogacy and said your life will be made. I didn't even know the meaning of the word back then. I became a surrogate mother in 2009 to a couple who were married for 21 years and could not bear a child and delivered a healthy baby for them. With the money I bought a house for myself and educated my daughters. Today my eldest is working in a children's nursing home and the two others are studying in an English-medium school and I plan to educate them further. I learnt the job of a nanny at the surrogate hostel and can today eke out a living. The respect I have garnered because of my economic independence has increased. My in-laws who would not speak to me after I decided to become a surrogate started calling me up after I got a bank balance," she says about the stigma attached to surrogacy.
Papiaben, another surrogate who delivered twins for an American couple spoke about buying a rickshaw for her husband who now earns a livelihood out of it. Speaking about the pain of the separation from the child they bear for nine months, she says, "The intended parents of the twins I delivered came four months after the child was born and I almost wanted to keep them as we get emotionally attached to the child. But, when the couple came they cried a lot and were very elated. I felt bad when I had to give it up and cried too. Due to constraints I have to give up the child (Majburi ke hisaab se dena padta hai). But looking at the joy of the parents I feel that now it is their job to take