Indian ARTs (assisted reproductive technology) bill has been in draft form since 2010. While I was living in India academics and women’s rights groups explained that the bill could be passed “any day” that there was no way of knowing when the billed passed. Three years down the track the bill is still in draft form, but according to this article (here) voting may make the difference. It seems that there is no way of knowing when it will happen but there remains hope that it will happen.
According to an article in today’s Mumbai Mirror (you can read it here) some of the top IVF clinics offering surrogacy arrangements to foreigners in Mumbai are under investigation. Two gynaecologists representing the Maharashtra Medical Council will be investigating surrogacy practices at Corian, Rotunda and Lilivati’s IVF clinics. According to the Foreigners Reginal Registration Office, the clinics have been selling surrogacy to foreigners who visit India on a tourist visa. This is a breach of the Union Home Ministry’s December 2012 ruling that only married couples could apply for a medical visa for commercial surrogacy arrangements in India and gay couples and singles would be prohibited from engaging in surrogacy arrangements in India. Watch this space – the report is due in two weeks time.
According to this news report today, Georgia may be joining the UK and Australia with a ban on commercial surrogacy arrangements:
But as surrogacy reportedly thrives, Georgian experts and officials have become increasingly concerned about a lack of oversight. With help from the United Nations Population Fund, authorities are now starting to look at other countries’ policies on surrogacy and consider making changes to Georgia’s current practices. “There is a common agreement that the issue of surrogacy needs to be better regulated, and legislative, bioethical, social and economic factors need to be considered,” explained Deputy Minister of Labor, Health and Social Issues Mariam Jashi.
From a market standpoint, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence that surrogacy is a lucrative sector in a country where well-paying jobs are scarce. “We have to recruit [surrogates] all the time, as the demand is much higher than we can actually meet,” noted Tamara Barkalaia, head of operations at New Life, one of seven surrogacy agencies in Tbilisi. In 2013, New Life handled 41 deliveries, she said.
Surrogacy is a hot topic in India. Activist and women’s groups are very much engaged in active research and policy work to ensure women working as surrogates are legally supported with rights that protect their interests.
And it seems that artists are also engaging in this subject. ‘Rabdi‘ is the story of a woman who chooses surrogacy work to make enough money to provide a better education and medical care for her disabled child.
“International Biosciences sells most of surrogacy tests as peace of mind, at home tests which help clients eliminate any doubts they have about the parentage of the child born through surrogacy. In some cases, clients have sought legal surrogacy testing in order to prosecute the laboratories, doctors or embryologists involved in the mix-up”. You can read the whole article here
With the up coming program “uncovering” surrogacy in India, I’m starting to feel like surrogacy hostels in India are a like ‘ye olde curiosity shop’ for western reporters. They enter the same hostels attached to the same clinic in the same city in India and report on exploitation, again. I’m not saying we don’t need media covering stories of surrogacy, but a more nuanced approach (and different clinics for example) would be really welcome around now…
Great news for families in California formed with the help of an egg or sperm donor :
“It is critical that judges have the ability to recognize the roles of all parents so that no child has to endure separation from one of the adults he or she has always known as a parent,” state Sen. Mark Leno told the LA Times.
You can read the full story here: http://gawker.com/california-children-can-now-legally-have-three-parents-1441519480