Couples hoping for child via surrogacy get boost in Delhi – ET HealthWorld

Couples hoping for child via surrogacy get boost in Delhi

NEW DELHI: The LG’s nod to the formation of medical boards in all Delhi districts for dealing with matters related to the Surrogacy Act has given hope to many couples looking to have a child through the procedure.

Welcoming the move, Dr Gauri Agarwal, founder of Seeds of Innocence, an IVF centre, said there is a lot of demand in the city for surrogacy.

“Many couples were nudging us over why surrogacy was not happening in Delhi. Some require it due to recurrent abortions while there are also a few with heart disease or neurological disorders,” she said.

Dr Agarwal added the government should take the next step without further delay as it has already been more than a year since the Union health ministry notified the Act. Many couples had even filed petitions in courts seeking the early formation of medical boards in Delhi.

On Monday, the LG gave approval to form 11 medical boards in each district under the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021. The boards will be headed by the chief medical officer, chief civil surgeon or joint director of the district’s health services. They will comprise the district’s chief gynaecologist and chief paediatrician as members.
However, implementing the Act remains a challenge. Earlier, in commercial surrogacy, anyone fulfilling the criteria was eligible. The contract would mostly be restricted to the couple and the surrogate mother and the monetary arrangement was decided between them. The role of IVF clinics was to retrieve the biological parents’ eggs and sperm, make an embryo and transfer it to the surrogate.

The Act requires the couple to be married for at least five years and not have biological children. Also, the biological mother will have to show at least six failed IVFs or three miscarriages. There cannot be any financial transaction between the biological parents and the surrogate, who has to be known to the couple.
“A flaw in the Act is that those who will be appointed in the medical board may not be fully aware of surrogacy or assisted reproductive technology and will go only by textbooks. Moreover, there will be high chances of red tape. Also, the process will be a long one. By the time the couple gets approval, they might run out of time,” said Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj, gynaecologist, Nurture IVF.

While saying the concept is good, she added that it was necessary to have a watchdog and look into how it is practised in India.

“Getting a surrogate is going to be tricky. After Covid, egg and sperm reserves have declined a bit and those who are aging feel they have already lost a lot of time,” Dr Bajaj said.
Couples hoping for child via surrogacy get boost in Delhi

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