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Surrogacy a booming business : Gitam Law School takes up research on surrogacy

Surrogacy a booming business : Gitam Law School takes up research on surrogacy
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Visakhapatnam: Gitam University Law School is conducting a UGC research project on 'Surrogacy � Moral, ethical, social and legal implications'. Law...

Visakhapatnam: Gitam University Law School is conducting a UGC research project on 'Surrogacy � Moral, ethical, social and legal implications'. Law School senior faculty member Prof. R Anita Rao is acting as principal investigator to this project.

The research project is based on the advancements in the reproductive technologies which have brought new rays of hope to infertile couples. Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) such as IVF, IUT and Surrogacy gained a lot of attention over the globe. ARTs are preferred by many infertile couples due to the reason that at least one of the parents will be genetically connected to the child.

According to the study, it is mentioned in the preamble of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Bill, 2010, that with these new technologies in medicine, 85 per cent of the infertile cases can be taken care of through medicine surrogacy. Loss relating to ARTs is regulated in some countries, but the position in India is not clear. It is neither banned nor has proper regulations pertaining to the surrogacy contacts in India. India has become a booming centre of the fertility market with its reproductive tourism.

According to Prof. Anita Rao, in India this industry is estimated at Rs 25,000 crore and this cross-border reproductive tourism has become a booming business due to various supportive factors. For example, the legal lacunae and the availability of poor women who are ready to offer the services as surrogates are the main reasons for attracting foreign clients.

The overall cost of 'creating' a baby in Anand (Gujarat) comes to approximately Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000. The same services in other countries cost lakhs of rupees. The Supreme Court, in a recent case � Baby Manja Yamada vs Union of India (2008) � made a remarkable statement referring to offensive terms like womb for rent, outsourced pregnancy and baby firms, she said.

"The law relating to surrogacy is silent and the guidelines given by ICMR are used till the Act is passed to regulate these agreements. Issues like the rights of the surrogate, the validity of the contractual terms in surrogacy arrangements, the rights of child born out of these arrangements and the rights of the commissioning parents are debated and there is no uniform regulation even at the international scenario. The lack of these regulations creates a lot of uncertainty about these practices," she said.

The study will unveil the situation the mothers, parents and the children are in and as well as serving as a basis for policy recommendations.A Prof. Anita Rao said that under this project the research team will meet the couples who are seeking surrogacy. She mentioned that the study will be useful to give suggestions to the legislature to formulate the guidelines for IVF clinics to avoid legal issues.

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