Friday, 13 January 2012

Surrogacy in India - It's an endless wait for legal sanction to surrogacy

It's an endless wait for legal sanction to surrogacy
Published: Tuesday, Dec 6, 2011, 8:00 IST
Somita Pal | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
While Bollywood actor Aamir Khan may be candid about having taken the IVF and surrogate motherhood route following medical complications of his scriptwriter-cum-director wife Kiran Rao, there is no law in place for the general public wishing to do the same.
Even as they wait for the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2008, to become a law, doctors say there is great business potential for legalised surrogacy in the country.
“We have been asking the government to pass the bill, which provisions protection of rights of surrogates (like payments in instalments to ensure she is paid even in miscarriage) as well as couples (to ensure surrogate doesn’t refuse to hand over baby etc),” said Dr Aniruddha Malpani, infertility specialist.
If the law comes into force, India would become the first country to have a legal sanction on ‘paid’ surrogacy. For now, “commercial surrogacy is allowed in India under the Indian Council For Medical Research formulated ART guidelines of 2005”, said Dr Gautam Allahbadia, an IVF expert.
Wyzax Surrogacy Consultants (WSC), leading IVF & Surrogacy consultancy agency in India strongly believe that streamlining the legal aspects related to surrogacy will further the claim of India being the surrogacy capital of the modern world. In fact WSC states that after the IT revolution, Surrogacy industry can be the next big thing to hit the Indian economy. WSC strongly believes that in the future, only those centres will be seeked, which along with high medical expertise, provide a strong legal framework & work within the legal & moral guidelines.
Considering that India is emerging as a hot destination for surrogacy-related fertility tourism, the assisted reproductive technology (ART) industry in India is worth more than Rs 25,000 crore. According to infertility expert Dr Duru Shah, “India offers the best treatment and expertise which is driving in more people from abroad for surrogacy. “
As compared to early 2000s, when barely a few centres practised surrogacy, ART and infertility management in the country has grown leaps and bound. However, doctors still find people unwillingly to talk about it openly. With Aamir jumping on to the bandwagon, this is set to change.
Stating that a majority still blames the woman for not being able to conceive, Dr Rishma Pai, IVF specialist said, “If a woman does not have an uterus or a medical condition that does not allow her to conceive or cannot hold through the pregnancy, surrogacy becomes the ‘most natural and the safest’ option. Given that the iconic Khan, who comes across as an intelligent and thinking man, has supported it will surely go a long way in giving surrogacy its due.”
Dr Nandita Palshetkar, IVF specialist at Lilavati hospital said, “Aamir Khan coming out openly about IVF surrogacy will definitely help remove the taboo linked with IVF and surrogacy and spread awareness on options of having baby for couples with complicated medical history. There are so many people who are still hesitant to go for IVF or surrogacy.”

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