‘Made in India’ was filmed in 2008 in Mumbai. The film looks at IP, surrogate and clinic perspectives led primarily by the journey of the American intended parents. I heard about the film early in 2011 and saw it first at a screening in the Habitat center in Delhi later that year. Vaishali and Rebecca, the creators of the film, have been encouraging outreach sessions in India. You can have a look at some of the reactions to the film during these outreach sessions here.
Here is what Vaishali and Rebecca have to say about why they made the film and a little about there own backgrounds:
We come from a background of social justice work, with particular interest in reproductive rights, sexuality and human rights. When we first heard about “outsourcing” surrogacy to India in 2007, we were captivated by the myriad of issues that emerge from this subject matter at the crossroads of body politics, reproductive technologies and globalization.
At the time when we started filming, we noticed that any mainstream conversations around this issue tended to be very polarized: either promoting or condemning the practice. We wanted to bring a nuance to the story that would offer the audience a closer understanding of the intended couple’s and the surrogate’s choices behind their decisions. We wanted to take this intimate journey with all the players involved. Of course, we had no idea how the story would end up, but we trusted that if we let events unfold on their own – all the questions we were interested in exploring would emerge organically. As a result, the film really challenges viewers to come to their own conclusions about the practice.
We set out to create a film that captured the entire surrogacy process as it unfolded. Often this meant something like the amazing race for the film crew as we raced from Texas to Mumbai and back again! In addition to the parallel stories of the western commissioning parents and the surrogate, the “Reproductive Tourism” industry emerged as a key player in this process, as did US and Indian Government bodies. Today the international surrogacy industry is growing exponentially. However, in countries such as India, the process is taking place without regulation, and without adequate judicial recourse for the surrogates, the commissioning parents or the children. Similarly new medical tourism businesses are growing in the US and abroad without a proper code of conduct and ethics in place.
“Made in India” highlights the human stories behind a complex process while raising immediate concerns over women’s health and rights.