Market of Mothers' : Surrogacy Market in India

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Terms used

  • Intended couple: It represents the male-male/male-female/female-female persons as couple.
  • Intended mother: She is the women from the couple who is not able to conceive because of medical reasons.
  • Intended father: He is the father from the couple who is not able to conceive because of medical reasons.
  • Surrogate mother: She is the woman who is going to grow the child in her womb for nine months.

What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is the process in which a woman under legal contract carries & delivers the child to a couple or person who cannot conceive because of medical reasons.

Types of Surrogacy

1) Traditional Surrogacy

In this process, the father’s sperm from the couple is injected into the surrogate mother either naturally or artificially. But in this process, the child genetically represents father of the couple & the surrogate mother.

2) Gestational Surrogacy

In this process, the embryo formed by the combination of intended mother’s egg & intended father’s sperm is injected in the surrogate mother artificially. In this process, the child genetically represents the intended father & intended mother. (Note: In this process, the child do not genetically represent the surrogate mother. This process is preferred during surrogacy.

Gestational Surrogacy is further classified according to what is donated: i) Gestational Surrogacy via sperm donation ii) Gestational Surrogacy via egg donation iii) Gestational Surrogacy via Embryo donation

Advantage: There is around zero chance that there will be any “attachment bond” between the child & surrogate mother.

What is IVF?
IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilization. IVF is a process in which, the egg is fertilized by using sperm, outside the body of the women.

Positive points of surrogacy

  • Serves as a nice option for Adoption

Often during adoption, adopting parents are worried about the lineage & heridtary characteristics of the child being adopted. But with surrogacy, the child we will get will have our own flesh & blood.

  • It gives the truest sense of being a parent.
  • Parent’s Cell are used in the process

For the surrogacy method, the cell of the parent are used i.e. the child is exact same (genetically) to their parents.

  • Confidential & Protected

For surrogacy to work properly, the information about the surrogate mother & the parents has to be kept secret. Because of presence of various laws & institutions specialized in “surrogacy help” surrogacy is a very safe option.

  • Can help those couples which have fertility problems. Hence even an infertile man or infertile women can become father or mother as the case may be. (Note: Fertility, here denotes the low level of sperm or egg count. Sperm in the case of man & egg in the case of women)
  • Surrogacy acts as an occupation & helps needy women to earn their living.
  • It helps particularly in the case if the parents are of same gender.

Negative Points about surrogacy

  • The process is much complex.
  • Time required for the whole process is large as it takes time to find the proper surrogate mother, legal agencies, etc.
  • Finding the right mother is often hard as there are various complexities involved with the various criteria that is expected by the parents.
  • Various things have to be attended like legal process, medical criteria & financial matter.
  • It is very expensive. Money is required for the following things: 1) Lawyer fees 2) Medicines 3) Proper food for the surrogate mother 4) Surrogate mother fees 5) Hospital Charges
  • The couple opting for surrogacy may not be able to share their happiness with the rest of society as those people will still have a different “perspective” for you.

Surrogacy market in India

  • Beginning of the surrogacy market in India happened in the year 2002. India since then has become so famous that it is being called as “BABY FACTORIES”.
  • Reasons for India being a famous “market” for surrogacy
  • Low cost in India as compared to other developed countries.
  • Availability of skilled doctors in India.
  • Bureaucracy is not very strict.
  • Large & never ending supply of surrogate mother in India (Note: Due to huge population of India & the poverty levels)
  • Success rate of children born is high in India.
  • No official figures exist about how big Indian surrogacy market is.
  • But according to the data of a United Nations (UN) backed body suggest that Indian surrogacy market is estimated at more than $400 million per year.
  • Most famous clinic for surrogacy in India is “AKANKSHA Clinic” based in Anand, Gujarat. It is famous in India as well as abroad. Hence, Gujarat is recently being called as “surrogacy capital”.
  • Famous surrogacy cities India: Delhi, Mumbai, Anand, Surat, Jamnagar, Bhopal & Indore.

Laws for Surrogacy in India

  • Supreme Court has legalized surrogacy in India in 2002 itself.

No separate laws are present in India for surrogacy. But now Government is trying to pass the surrogacy bill named “the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Bill (ART)”. This bill may come before the parliament in the next year and aims :

  • to protect the children, surrogates & commissioning parents.
  • To establish regulatory authority to register & monitor the fertility clinics in India.
  • Defines the age of surrogate mother be between 21 to 35 years old.
  • To set maximum of five pregnancies (Note: Five pregnancies to include pregnancies of their own)
  • Proper insurance & full proof legal contract be signed between the surrogate mother & the couple.
  • Insurance to be mandatory.
  • Proper & common procedure be established for surrogacy in India.
  • Will make compulsory for the applying couple to show proof that the child will get the citizenship of their country.
  • To stop clinics from sourcing, supplying & taking care of the surrogate mothers by themselves.
  • Surrogate mother not to indulge in work or activity which can harm foetus.
  • Only Indian citizens will have the right for being surrogate. Indian clinics should not send any surrogate abroad nor should they receive any surrogate in India from abroad.
  • A couple can’t opt for more than one surrogate at a given time.
  • Simultaneous transfer of embryo in the women & the surrogate mother is not allowed.
  • If the couple opting for surrogacy belongs to other country than India i.e. is foreigner then they have to appoint a local guardian in India who will be legally responsible for the child.
  • If the couple do not take the child after delivery, then the local guardian are free to hand over that child to adoption agency.
  • If the surrogate mother is married then permission of her husband will be required before she opts for surrogacy.
  • According to our revised visa laws, same sex couples are not allowed to apply for surrogacy in India.

Flaws with the current Surrogacy Laws in India

  • No fixed rule/law for compensation & presence of no insurance for post-delivery healthcare.
  • Medical clinics are seen doing exploitation of the surrogate mothers.
  • Also, surrogacy is being overused for financial reasons.
  • It has been seen in many cases that even when there is poor embryo quality in women, doctors are suggesting them to go for surrogacy as it is good for the doctor in financial terms. But such women can’t go for surrogacy as the embryo of these women is not of good quality. In short, doctors are misleading the couples.

Points that should be covered in a “Surrogacy Contract”
Following are the points that should be covered in the legal contract between the couple & surrogate mother:

  • Name of the Doctor/Hospital & the kind of surrogacy method used.
  • Is health insurance available for the Surrogate if in case something bad happens & who is going to pay for that insurance.
  • Contract should specifically include the following (strictly): 1) the termination of parental rights of the surrogate mother & her partner on the child after 24 hours of child birth 2) contract should legalize the intended parents to legally claim the child 3) Birth certificate to be issued in the name of the couple.
  • All the responsibilities of the child are to be carried out by the couple once it is born & it won’t be the responsibility of the surrogate mother.
  • All the stakeholders in the contract should be following strict confidentiality.

Change in the Indian society perspective

  • Indian society is conservative about surrogacy.
  • But due to recent surrogacy steps taken by the famous celebrities like Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan & Satish Kaushik has helped Indian mindset to change.
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