How many people does it take to start a family? Well, if you are a gay Israeli couple, both men, and you’d like your children to be biologically related to you, it may take the two of you, plus a Ukrainian egg donor, an Indian woman to serve as the surrogate, and a Nepali safe house to shelter the surrogate, who is not allowed to perform this service in her home country. Sound complicated? It is. It’s also very, very expensive and raises sticky questions about the complex relationship between a paid surrogate and the people who hire her services.
In this very special episode of Israel Story, producers Yochai Maital and Maya Kosover team up with Radiolab’s Molly Webster, Jad Abumrad, and Robert Krulwich, and reporters Nilanjana Bhowmick in India and Bhrikuti Rai in Nepal, to tell the story of Tal and Amir. The two are an Israeli couple who went to Nepal to pick up their three babies from two surrogates and then discovered that the transaction is not as straightforward as they’d believed. The journey is further complicated by the terrible earthquake that struck Nepal during the weeks that Tal and Amir were living there, learning to care for their infants. Here’s how it all went down.