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Clarification from Kiran Infertility Centre about article in the daily mail Dated- 31st Aug 2012
Clarification from the Hospital & Surrogate Mother on Article in Daily Mail on titled Our 'rent a womb' child from an Indian baby farm: British couple paying £20,000 for a desperately poor single mother to have their child" published on 31st Aug 12
He states that the article is malicious, negative, erroneous, false and contains derogatory remarks about the Surrogate Mother, Medical Facility, City of Hyderabad, India as a Country. It is a sponsored and is aimed at painting a Negative Picture of Surrogacy Treatment in India.
Few of the points listed in article are.
1) (British Couple), a middle-class Oxfordshire housewife, admitted the £20,000 deal sounded ‘cold and clinical’ but insisted: ‘This is a business transaction.’
2) Describing the surrogate mother as ‘just a vessel’, the 34-year-old former estate agent added: ‘There is no altruism involved on the surrogate’s part: she is being paid to have our baby’.
3) They know she is 31 and has children of her own. They know her name, and that for reasons not explained — perhaps she has been widowed or deserted — she has no husband.
4) For the duration of her pregnancy she will live with other surrogates, away from her home and family, in a primitive dormitory within the clinic. It goes without saying that she is desperately poor.
5) The British Couple have not been told how much their surrogate will earn from the £20,000 cost of the treatment — clinics are loath to specify sums — but estimates range from £3,000 to £6,000.
6) ‘There is no altruism involved on the surrogate’s part: she is being paid to have our baby. It’s a contractual arrangement.
8) Impoverished cities like Hyderabad
9) Around 2,000 births to surrogates took place in India last year, and Britain supplies the largest number of clients — estimates suggest as many as half are from the UK. The fact that just 100 surrogate births were recorded in Britain last year puts the scale of the Indian operation into perspective.
These statements are derogatory in nature and were made without any proof. No effort was made by anyone from Daily Mail to verify these facts. Neither the Parents featured in the article nor the Journalists from Daily Mail bothered to meet the Surrogate Mother or visit the facility. Details mentioned in the article about number of Patients from UK Visiting India and other such details are not verified and were added just by hearsay.
According to Mr.Jaiswal, facilities provided to surrogate mothers in India are at par with the facilities available in most of the middle class households in India. The nutrition, nurture, care and medication provided to Surrogate Mothers is at par with the highest quality of such care only available to elite few.
Surrogate Mother for featured couple, who has had to face the brunt of the article, has had a very good upbringing, is from a lower middle class family. She is educated and can understand, write, and read in English. Women are ready to become Surrogates not just for money but to improve the circumstances in which they and their family currently live in, at times to secure their child's education, at times to pay for health concerns of their immediate ones, at times to fulfill their dreams of owning a house and a farm plot.
Surrogate was anguished and devastated when she saw the article. Her first reaction was “All of us at times work for someone or other, in work places all of us feel that our bosses are using us to gain profits and do not care about our well being. But no one likes to be called a slave or vessel in person and this has happened to me in Media”
When these issues were brought to the notice of the Publisher as-well as the Parents and the surrogate demanded for an unconditional apology, instead of apologizing to the Surrogate Mother and the facility for this article they have offered the surrogate one more article which they state will cover the positive side of the story, one more TV Documentary and a 1000 pound pay off to the surrogate by the daily mail to keep her mouth shut
When a clarification was sought from one of the journalists of the article, through her hotmail e-mail id we have received a response as quoted below.
“I have met many surrogates in India, although I have not made it to your clinic yet. I learnt from your clinic that you have felt offended by certain words used in the article. I want to apologise if those words have upset you at all.”
She further adds on “The emotions that British Couple is feeling and quoted are obviously very personal” & “British Couple's quotes were her personal very raw feelings"
Further she adds “newspapers always need to accommodate their reader, so they use words which suits their style of writing." "Myself as a writer, and the featured British Couple as the interviewees have no say on the headline used.”
Further on seeking clarification from the Featured Parents. Their replies were as anticipated.
Initially they tried to express their inability to confront the Publisher's “I'm afraid we have no ability to persuade the Daily Mail paper as to what to say." "We have not been fairly represented by the whole experience;"
Further added on “our experience with surrogacy and the Kiran Infertility Centre has been an overwhelmingly positive experience to date. Unfortunately for us all, this message has not come across clearly in the initial article published in the Daily Mail on Saturday 1st September.” “We are devastated that the Daily Mail article has caused such upset. We certainly did not think it would be hard hitting headline news”
As a last resort we were lured for another article stating the quoted lines in one of the e-mails “I personally believe the best way to overcome this is not to fight it in a legal manner and with threats sent to journalists - I'm certain this will have no positive outcome in the UK. I'm sure you already know of the reputation of the UK press. I've also taken the advice of a number of PR professionals in the last 2 days to understand the options available to us. I can assure you, that their consistent advice is not to fight it, but to try and use the attention gained to tell a story. Fighting the UK press is not something that I nor you should want to embark upon as the results are highly unlikely to be positive."
"The angle of the article was not our intention at all and I hope you can see the sensationalism in the article – a result of the story becoming headline news. I understand you had provided facts and figures, but still your quotes have been contorted and you must appreciate the same thing has happened with our interview."
Through this press release we intend to bring the false hood and lies mentioned in this article to fore and to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in future. We also would like the parties involved to apologize to the Surrogate Mother who has been at the receiving end of this article. We are also thankful to all the readers of the article who have voiced their views about the negativity of this article on the website of daily mail.