Why it is Vital to have a legal agreement in place before proceeding with Surrogacy in INDIA. – By Dr.Samit Sekhar
Adoption was the only route to parenthood for infertile couples before the advent of IVF and Surrogacy india. According to Dr. Samit Sekhar who is the IVF and surrogacy program Director at the Kiran Infertility Centre, every year Millions of babies are born worldwide through Assisted reproductive techniques such as IUI, IVF, ICSI and Surrogacy and these techniques have been constantly in the news. In India, popular film director Farah Khan had triplets through IVF in her late thirties and Bollywood superstar Aamir khan had a son through surrogacy because his second wife Kiran Rao could not carry a pregnancy to term, now there is news of Shahrukh Khan planning a third baby through surrogacy, these are the ones who have been confident enough to admit it in the public domain, no one knows how many have had babies through fertility treatments such as surrogacy. According to Dr. Sekhar famous celebrities such as Elton John, Nicole Kidman, Ricky Martin and Sarah Jessica Parker have openly had babies through Surrogacy in the USA and this has helped bring a sensitive topic like surrogacy out in the open. According to Dr. Sekhar in India a surrogacy agreement involves the Surrogate mother who agrees to be transferred with embryos created by IVF by fusing gametes from the Genetic parents with the sole intention of handing over the new born immediately after birth and the genetic parents and the clinic which is responsible for carrying out the IVF procedure. to intended parents and folks who are not directly involved, the process may seem straight-forward but this may not necessarily be the case and legal complexities are involved depending on which country the intended parents are citizens of, for example certain countries such as Germany and France completely prohibit surrogacy, hence at the Kiran Infertility Centre we don’t accept citizens of these countries into our surrogacy program. Countries such as Spain expect the Surrogate mother to go to the Spanish consulate at 6 or 7 months of pregnancy. This seems like a highly illogical step which is apparently carried out by the Spanish consulate to make sure that the surrogate is the same woman who delivers the child. According to Dr. Sekhar there are surely better ways to find this out rather than expecting the surrogate mother to travel when she is heavily pregnant. According to the Legal expert Mr. Ashok kumar the UK high commission expects that the Surrogate mother should sign a consent after 6 weeks of pregnancy relinquishing rights to the newborn if the surrogate is already married. If the surrogate is single this is not required. This is the standard practice which is followed in the UK, how and why it is applicable to Indian surrogate mothers who are Indian nationals is still not understandable. According to Dr. Sekhar our legal team here at the Kiran Infertility Centre follows the relevant laws and if a certain embassy or high commission has certain requirements we duly follow them so that our patients do not have to suffer. In countries like India and the US commercial surrogacy is a norm and Altruistic surrogacy arrangement are rare however in UK and certain states in Australia only Altruistic surrogacy is allowed and only reasonable expenses maybe paid to egg donor or surrogate mother. hence to make the process hassle free and to make an informed Decision it is vital that the Intended parents are fully aware of the laws pertaining to Surrogacy in INDIA and their own country.Keeping this enormous responsibility in mind, the Kiran Infertility Centre has a dedicated legal team in place to take care of legal requirements for intended parents from 21 different nationalities which have access to surrogacy in INDIA. About the Author: Dr. Samit Sekhar IVF and Surrogacy program Director. Kiran Infertility Centre, Hyderabad. INDIA.