Sunday, 22 February 2009

TV: ABC and SBS focus on Indians

The summer TV drought now appears over. This week both ABC and SBS have stories about Indians and babies.

Tonight it is SBS's turn: on Dateline at 8.30 its story "Baby Factory" is about surrogacy in India. Here is the story's blurb:

Dateline steps into the middle of the great "Womb for Rent" debate. Video
Journalist Yalda Hakim visits a so-called 'baby factory' in the Indian state of
Gujarat where over 50 women live while they carry babies for well-off Western
clients. The women are poor and come from India's appalling slums. They are paid
about US$ 7,000 for providing babies - a fortune in their terms - and receive
good medical care and attention throughout their nine month term. With an
increasing number of Australians travelling to India for the service, this
surrogacy boom has sparked a fierce moral, ethical and legal debate."It’s just
horrific to consider this in moral terms as though this were some sort of
legitimate transaction. It’s not. Basically at the end of the day it’s wealthy
people exploiting poor people," says ethicist Nick Tonti- Filippini. That claim
is strongly rejected by Dr Nayna Patel, co-founder of the Akanksha clinic."How
can you say that couple is exploiting the female when the female willingly wants
to do it?"

On Tuesday at 9.20, it is the ABC's turn, when Foreign Correspondent is running a story, Stolen and Sold, about stolen children from India. Here is the blurb:

What would you do if you discovered your adopted children were stolen and
trafficked, and not willingly given up by their parents, as you'd believed?
South Asia correspondent Sally Sara investigates the insidious trade of children
in India, and joins an Australian family in their moving search for the truth.
Sara reveals that dozens of Australian families are oblivious to the true
background of their adopted youngsters, because of bureaucratic bungling and
government ineptitude both here and in India.It’s a remarkable story that
reveals a shocking truth about some overseas adoptions.
We follow the journey of the Rollings family from Canberra.For ten years
Barry and Julia Rollings believed their son Akil and daughter Sabila had been
given up willingly by their birth parents in Chennai.But after hearing
suspicions reports about Indian orphanages, they set out to locate the
childrens’ birth mother. The news was shocking.
Akil and Sabila had been taken from their mother, and sold to an
orphanage.The Rollings have now embraced their ‘Indian family’ as part of their
own - Akil and Sabila have ‘two mothers’.It’s an inspirational story of one
family’s courage.
Sally Sara also investigates claims that dozens of trafficked Indian
children may have been placed for adoption in Australia - their new parents
oblivious to the background of the youngsters. She speaks to heartbroken couple
Fathima and Salya, whose child Jabeen was kidnapped from the streets of Chennai
by traffickers. Jabeen was adopted to an Australian couple, and now lives
unaware of her background, while her adoptive parents live in anguish.It’s a
story of crime and cover up - its victims both here and in India.

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