Image Credit source: ushaivf.com
Image Credit source: ushaivf.com
The Surrogacy Act and the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) Act were enacted in December last year to ensure proper functioning of surrogacy and IVF clinics. Now a husband and wife have moved the court regarding this act in Mumbai. They had started the Surrogacy Procedure before the implementation of this Act and they want permission to complete it. On May 18, the Bombay High Court had sought a response from Hinduja Hospital in the matter. The couple approached the hospital for surrogacy in October 2021 after losing two children and unable to give birth to more children naturally due to a medical problem.
Dr. Shobha Gupta, Gynecologist and Infertility Specialist at Mother’s Lap IVF Center in Pitampura, Delhi told Tv9 that after the enactment of these two Acts, the choice of IVF for such couples will become extremely difficult. She says – the guidelines that have come from the government, such as whether surrogacy should be a charity work – seem like an impossible goal to fulfill. There will be no such woman who comes from home and carries someone’s child in her stomach for nine months, bears all the troubles and does not expect any amount in return.
Guidelines like essentiality certificate and other related documents have made it a complicated task for needy couples to have a child of their own. Dr. Gupta says – These guidelines should be more practical. Almost all IVF clinics in the country recommend this to only those couples who really need them. Barring a few cases where the stars themselves have opted for surrogacy, almost all the clinics recommend IVF only after a complete medical examination of the couple.
Government has made strict rules
A better way of implementing these laws would have been to allow women suffering from medical problems or infertility to opt for eggs or surrogacy. Dr. Gupta told that recently a couple came to him for consultation, out of which the wife had Hodgkin lymphoma. Along with this, the woman also had heart disease. In such a situation, I could do a complete checkup of him and send his file to the board for further approval.
Dr. Gupta says that in the absence of a child, the couple has to go through the same mental trouble. According to Dr. Gupta – With such stringent rules, the government has in a way taken away an option from couples to have children. In India, even now, for not having a child, the woman is considered more guilty than the husband. In a way it is a social stigma. Then it is not that the new Acts are going to protect the interests of surrogate women or egg donors. The government is of the opinion that surrogacy should be philanthropic, so how are they going to protect it.
10-15% of married couples in India face infertility
According to Allied Market Research, the IVF services market in India was estimated to be worth $793.27 million in 2020 and is projected to reach $3,721.99 million by 2030. Its CAGR from 2021 to 2030 was estimated at 16.45 percent. Research conducted by Inito, a Bengaluru-based company that manufactures next-generation portable diagnostic devices, has revealed startling statistics which are as follows – 10-15 per cent of married couples in India face infertility while 27.5 per cent of those wishing to conceive. Millions of couples are battling infertility.
What is the Assisted Reproductive Technology Act
The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on September 14, 2020. Under this, a demand was raised to make provision for the regulation of assisted reproductive technology services in the country. The Act stipulates that every ART clinic and bank must be registered under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India.
Under this, the state governments will appoint registration authorities to facilitate the registration process. It has also been decided that clinics and banks will be able to register only if they comply with certain standards (such as staff, physical infrastructure and clinical facilities). This registration will be valid for five years and can be renewed for another five years.
What is Surrogacy (Regulation) Act 2021
This act was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 15 July 2019. The bill was passed by both the houses during the winter session of Parliament in 2021. It was implemented in January 2022 after the President’s signature.
No surrogacy clinic shall, unless registered under this Act, engage in any activity or process connected with surrogacy or employ a person who does not possess the qualifications prescribed in the Act. Any clinic that conducts surrogacy procedures must, within 60 days from the date of appointment of the appropriate authority, apply for the registration of their clinic and this registration will be renewed after every three years.
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