Hyderabad: The district medical and health office has sent a show-cause notice to Kiran Fertility Centre but the notice does not talk about legal issues regarding surrogacy. The Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Bill 2016 has not been passed as yet by Parliament. There are no clear guidelines on how surrogate mothers should be selected or cared for during the pregnancy period.
As such, the notice does not mention the ART clauses. Instead, the showcause issued by the district medical and health office to the centre is based on its improper record maintenance and the fact that it is not registered as an allopathic hospital.
Kiran Infertility Centre at the Sai Kiran Hospital on Road No. 4, Banjara Hills, shot into the news recently when health officials along with the police raided it for carrying out 48 surrogate cases without following the right practices. The 48 surrogate mothers in various stages of pregnancy had been kept in an apartment complex. Furthermore, the centre was only registered under the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act and not as a fertility centre.
Due to no existing law on surrogacy, the district medical and health officer has called upon government gynaecologists to understand the issues that should be looked into while tackling a case like this involving surrogate mothers.
A senior officer explained, “Pregnant mothers are being kept in a single location and they have no other life. They cannot interact with their family members and neither are they allowed to go outside. Keeping so many pregnant women together under one roof can also lead to health hazards and we are evaluating it from that point of view.”
Dr Roya Rozati, senior IVF specialist said, “With the Bill not being passed in Parliament there is a lot of grey area. The pressing concerns which have been seen in many cases is the ethical, social, legal and psychological issues associated with surrogacy. The isolation of the surrogate mother has always been a cause of concern as they are deprived of their normal lifestyle. But these can be addressed only if the law is passed and implemented properly.”
With no clarity in the law, commercial surrogacy continues and is a Rs 28,749 million ($445 million) business annually. Gynaecologists in the city state that commercial surrogacy can spin out of control for greater profits and this has to stop. Action against the Kiran Fertility Centre is now being initiated under the PNDCT act. A senior government officer explained, “Ultrasound scans have been done but the records have not been maintained properly.” Therefore, action will be taken under this act."
Cost of renting the womb
Rs 10L to Rs 15L Total cost of ‘making a baby’ per case. This includes retrieving the eggs, sperms and artificial insemination.
Rs 2.5L to Rs 4L Surrogate mother is paid. 10,000 babies born through surrogacy in the last decade.
Rs 25,000 In case the commissioning mother’s eggs are not good, then the egg donor gets extra cash. However this is done in extreme cases. There has to be consent taken from both the parents. But as this is a grey area this procedure is often skipped....