TREVOR ELWELL and Peter West know they are in for an anguished wait, pacing the floor outside a Mumbai maternity ward as they listen to the cries of the mother of their children. They will not be allowed to attend the birth or meet any of their children's family, but minutes after their newborns take their first breaths, they will be handed to the men - to be whisked away to a life in suburban Melbourne.
Commercial surrogacy has been legal in India since 2002, but has been attracting more Australians since the falling exchange rate pushed the cost of buying a baby from the US to more than $300,000 last year. A baby carried by an Indian surrogate can be bought for as little as $30,000, plus an extra $10,000 if the couple want to use a Caucasian egg donor, usually flown in from South Africa. "We've thought long and hard about this and have put everything in place to make sure we can give these children everything they need - including plenty of girlfriends who are cat-fighting over who will be godmother," Mr Elwell said.