“If I had the money, I wouldn’t do this.”
These are the words offered by Anjali, the hired surrogate for R.J. and Rosemary in a beautiful and well-crafted new short film, Points of Origin, by filmmaker Anya Leta that explores the tensions of commercial surrogacy in India. While R.J. is a native of India, he now lives in the United States and is married to an American. After experiencing difficulties conceiving on their own, they return to R.J.’s homeland in hopes of finally having a child of their own.
“Surrogacy is the last chance to have the baby the baby she wants.” R.J. explains to a call-in listener to his radio show who presses him on the ethics of surrogacy. He quickly corrects himself: “We want.” This is a joint effort—and he’s just as complicit in this as she is, despite his hesitation.
They arrive in India. They meet their surrogate face to face. She is no longer a number or another face in the crowd.
“You’ve been different ever since you met our surrogate,” Rosemary accuses R.J. “Our surrogate? She has a name.” he responds.
As R.J. and Rosemary discovery, surrogacy is always personal. It’s no mere commercial, distant enterprise. The film’s website offers the following questions for consideration:
Will RJ and Rosemary’s relationship survive the controversial process of surrogacy to have the family they’ve always wanted? Or will their new revelations cause doubts that consume them before it’s too late?
Watch it for yourself to find out. Highly recommended.