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Birla Fertility & IVF
Birla Fertility & IVF

Explained: Surrogacy Process and Laws in India

  • Published on August 09, 2023
Explained: Surrogacy Process and Laws in India

Over the years, in both men and women, infertility has become the most common cause.  For a variety of circumstances, a couple is not always able to conceive a biological child. Either the male or female partner may be the source of the issue. A couple may find it difficult or impossible to conceive biologically or may have failed IVF and IUI cycles for a variety of reasons.

Surrogacy, on the other hand, is a medical technique, to provide a positive and hopeful outcome to couples struggling with infertility. In this method, one woman (also referred to as a surrogate mother) carries the child into the womb of another woman/man/couple who can not conceive due to significant reasons. Depending on the nation where the treatment is performed, the lady may receive payment for her services or she may complete it as a labour of passion.

The intended parent and the surrogate mother make a legal adoption agreement when the baby is born, and the surrogate mother agrees to give the baby to her.

Surrogacy Process in India

In India, surrogacy has become popular compared to other countries because of the availability of medical interventions at low prices. In addition,  there have been significant changes in the laws and regulations regarding the surrogacy process. It is critical, and it is always best to check with a legal practitioner for expert advice on the surrogacy process in India. However, the standard surrogacy process in India may include:

  • Documentation: It is a critical and very necessary step for intended parents to be eligible according to the criteria given by the government. The proper documentation for surrogacy involves medical records, and legal agreements with the surrogate mother.
  • Finding a suitable surrogate: You can always find the best and most suitable surrogate mother either through agencies or fertility clinics. Mostly, surrogate mothers are rewarded with financial perks and incentives associated with surrogacy as a profession.
  • Medical screening: Both parties (surrogate mother and intended parent) are advised to go for medical and phychologocal screening in order to ensure that they are fit for the surrogacy process.
  • Legal agreements: The government may draw up a legal agreement between both parties to outline the roles and responsibilities to avoid any clashes in the future. The legal agreements include financial aspects as well, decided on the basis of mutual arrangements.
  • Cultured embryo transfer: Later, once everything is in-line, the surrogate mother is recommended to undergo the required treatment treatments along with the intended parent to run the course. Harvested eggs were then fertilized by the biological father to culture a healthy embryo for transfer. One to two selected embryos are then implanted in the uterine lining of the surrogate mother.
  • Pregnancy period: The surrogate mother is advised to undergo a prescribed routine check-up to ensure a healthy pregnancy and to avoid any risk of complications.
  • Delivery: Once the surrogate mother delivers the baby, a legal process begins to transfer the paperwork and documentation to establish the intended parents as legal ones. The paperwork includes legal agreements, the birth certificate of the baby, and other necessary documentation.

Laws & Regulation for Surrogacy Process in India

Remember that India has made some changes in rules and regulations to put certain restrictions on illegal surrogacy, such as banning commercial surrogacy for foreign couples, allowing only altruistic surrogacy for citizens of India. These modifications in laws and regulations are made to stop exploitation and protect the rights and interests of surrogates.  In addition, surrogacy is prohibited for homosexual couples and individuals from foreign countries. The changes in laws are normal; therefore, it is always advisable to consult a legal lawyer in order to get a clear picture of the laws and regulations regarding surrogacy in India, if required for any other country as well.

Different Types of Surrogacy Process in India

In India, there are two different types of arrangements to execute the surrogacy process. Traditional and gestational surrogacy are two different types of surrogacy. Even though conventional surrogacy is still used occasionally nowadays, it is no longer as common. Here are the descriptions of the two surrogacy processes:

  1. Gestational surrogacy

The intended mother’s ovum is stimulated with the help of the IVF process. Later, the cultured embryo is transferred into the uterus of the surrogate mother, who carries it to full term. In this surrogacy process, the bearer does not have any generic connection with the baby developing in the womb. Because of the technique, the surrogacy process is called gestational surrogacy.

  1. Traditional Surrogacy 

In this situation, the surrogate mother uses her own fertile eggs to conceive the baby through artificial insemination with the intended biological father’s sperm or a donor’s sperm. In this surrogacy process, the bearer is linked genetically with the baby.

Who can opt for the surrogacy process in India?

Every couple hopes to have a natural birth. However, it is not always practicable for the following reasons:

  • A missing uterus
  • Unexplained uterine abnormalities
  • Multiple unsuccessful in vitro fertilisation (IVF) attempts
  • Medical issues that discourage pregnancy
  • Males or females who are single
  • Having same-sex partners

In all of the aforementioned cases, surrogacy can help wishful couples by giving them access to a baby.

Conclusion

Surrogacy can be a challenging process for couples who are struggling to start a family of their own. It can also take a toll on your emotional health, therefore, it is best to share the information with your family and friends in order to get the necessary comfort and attention for your betterment. There is no shame in exploring options for assisted reproduction, and like other techniques, surrogacy is also normal and natural. The above article summarizes the laws and regulations for the surrogacy process in India. However, if you want extensive information, it is advisable to contact a legal advisor for expert insight. This will help you make an informed decision rather than getting stuck in an unwanted situation. Also, if you are looking for other assisted reproduction treatments such as IVF, IUI, ICSI, etc, get in touch with our medical counsellor today by calling us or by filling in the required details to book an appointment with our fertility expert.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  • In which countries is the surrogacy process legal?

Here are a few countries in which surrogacy is legal, however, the type and eligibility criteria may differ from one country to another:

  • India
  • Canada
  • Belgium
  • Australia
  • What are the common things included in the legal agreement for surrogacy process in India?

The following are some factors that are involved in the legal agreement for the surrogacy process:

  • Birth certificate of the baby after delivery
  • Decided compensation for the surrogate mother
  • Documentation and verification
  • Medical records
  • Will I be the biological father or mother of a surrogate baby?

Yes. If you decide to be the donor of sperm or eggs during the surrogacy process, then you are biologically and genetically connected with the baby.

  • If I’m a single parent, do I have to get additional paperwork?

Yes. There is a possibility that due to laws and regulation, you may need to provide additional documents compared to the standard surrogacy process.

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