The award-winning documentary “Wombs for Rent” was produced by my former Stabile classmate Hilke Schellmann, along with another Columbia alum, Habiba Nosheen. As with Finding Fernanda, the Stabile Center provided initial funding for the project. It aired on the new documentary show Now on PBS.
The report shows how surrogacy is an unregulated industry in the U.S. and therefore open to abuse. They focused on a company that has defrauded hopeful parents and victimized mothers trying to help them. Working with NOW senior correspondent Maria Hinojosa, the students followed the surrogate pregnancy of a single mother over the course of several months. When she was 14 weeks pregnant, the surrogate agency that brokered the deal between her and the future parents vanished, leaving the woman stranded without health insurance and nowhere to turn.
Although “Wombs for Rent” aired in September 2009, many of the issues it discusses are still relevant. You can watch it by clicking on the picture above, or by following this link to PBS.