My last post was on the common reasons for failure of IVF and IUI cycle. For desperate couples, repeated failures of IVF cycle is frustrating and depressing. They want their bundle of joy by all means and are also ready to go for “SURROGACY”.
Before you choose this course of action for materialising your dream into reality you should be equipped with the right information. Information is power and would definitely protect you from any fraud or cheat that is rampant in India.
What is Surrogacy?
As per Wikipedia, Surrogacy is an arrangement, often supported by a legal agreement, whereby a woman (the surrogate mother) agrees to bear a child for another person or persons, who will become the child’s parent(s) after birth. In simple language, a woman apart from the biological parent who offers her womb to carry the embryo of the intended couple for gestation and hand over the baby after delivery.
When did Surrogacy start in India?
The roots of surrogacy can be traced long back in Indian history. The world’s second and India’s first IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) baby Kanupriya alias Durga was born in Kolkata on Oct. 3, 1978. Since then the field of assisted reproductive technology (ART) has developed rapidly.
How is Surrogacy done in India? What is legal?
The sperm and ovum has to be of the intended parent(s). The woman willing to surrogate will only offer the womb to the couple .Surrogacy is not allowed if the intended parents are not biologically related to the baby. Gestational Surrogacy, is the only surrogacy that is legal in India.
Recent laws on Surrogacy in India.
Here, I would be citing few and if you want to know in details you can read “The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill,2019 by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- Regulation of surrogacy: The Bill prohibits commercial surrogacy, but allows altruistic surrogacy. Altruistic surrogacy involves no monetary compensation to the surrogate mother other than the medical expenses and insurance coverage during the pregnancy. Commercial surrogacy includes surrogacy or its related procedures undertaken for a monetary benefit or reward (in cash or kind) exceeding the basic medical expenses and insurance coverage. India does not allow Commercial Surrogacy unlike other countries like UK or USA.
- Purposes for which surrogacy is permitted: Surrogacy is permitted when it is: (i) for intending couples who suffer from proven infertility; (ii) altruistic; (iii) not for commercial purposes; (iv) not for producing children for sale, prostitution or other forms of exploitation; and (v) for any condition or disease specified through regulations.
Eligibility criteria for intending couple: The intending couple should have a ‘certificate of essentiality’ and a ‘certificate of eligibility’ issued by the appropriate authority.
Eligibility criteria for surrogate mother: To obtain a certificate of eligibility from the appropriate authority, the surrogate mother has to be: (i) a close relative of the intending couple; (ii) a married woman having a child of her own; (iii) 25 to 35 years old; (iv) a surrogate only once in her lifetime; and (v) possess a certificate of medical and psychological fitness for surrogacy. Further, the surrogate mother cannot provide her own gametes for surrogacy.
Registration of surrogacy clinics: Surrogacy clinics cannot undertake surrogacy related procedures unless they are registered by the appropriate authority. Clinics must apply for registration within a period of 60 days from the date of appointment of the appropriate authority.
A few years back, India had become the surrogacy capital of the world. Easy accessibility, no proper laws for regulation, no audits for surrogacy clinics existed, reasons that had made this country a hot spot for surrogacy. Foreigners were hiring womb in India for its easy accessibility and less expensive as compared to the country’like the US or UK. Hiring wombs or commercial surrogacy in foreign countries were exorbitantly priced. Recent laws in India have completely changed the scenario and now foreigners can’t hire any womb in India.
But then Clinincs misused all the facilities and there were several cases of fraud. The intended couples were not enlightened completely with the process. Couples were kept in dark about the surrogate mothers and that the chances of surrogacy is bleak for older women as the eggs have genetic abnormalities that lead to his miscarriages.
Before stepping into any fertility clinic for surrogacy check the following aspects.
*Success rate of live birth and full-term pregnancy.
*Transparency about the entire process
*Complete Bio-data of the surrogate mother
Do your homework before opting for surrogacy and your investment in terms of money, time and energy won’t go in vain.
The laws above are mentioned from the following websites.
This post is part of the series #trystwithinfertility of Blogchatter A2Z.