Hyderabad: The surrogacy cases uncovered at Kiran Fertility Centre have stirred a hornet’s nest. So far there is no clear act on surrogacy and therefore the lines regarding what can be done legally and what should be avoided are blurred.
With the impending bill on surrogacy being drafted and awaiting ratification doctors and parents-to-be are contemplating ways and means to circumvent the legalities.
Expected directives include, surrogacy options in India not an option for foreigners, no surrogacy for couples who already have their own biological child and also no surrogacy for single parents, gays and lesbian couples. These criteria in the law have got a lot of people within this category approach low-profile centres in the city, in the hope for a surrogate mother.
A senior IVF specialist in the city said, “The guidelines by ICMR are clear that these types of cases must not be taken up. Yet there are few centres in the city that are taking up these cases for commercial reasons. The reason the government has put up these clauses is because of the pressure created by these groups in their endeavour to have a child.”
The recent celebrity instances of single parents opting for surrogacy, has led to the authorities targeting those clinics which facilitated the process in Mumbai. This has made the doctors in Hyderabad alert. They are now opting for cases which are low-profile and will not attract attention. A senior doctor explained, “Questions are first posed during the birth registration certificate. It is here that the GHMC gets a clue that there is something amiss” and then they begin inquiry.
In low-profile cases of single parents, these queries can be handled and ‘managed’ and there is no untoward attention drawn to these cases.” But now with the district health officers raiding even smaller centres like Kiran Fertility Centre, doctors are worried as surrogacy centres applying for birth certificates will invite the detailed scrutiny from the authorities.