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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Boost for surrogacy: ban on embryo import lifted

The practice of assisted reproduction using a surrogate parent in India has received a boost, with the central government allowing import of human embryos for such purposes.

The notification, issued a couple of weeks ago, will help overseas couples, including Indians settled abroad, to import embryos that can be implanted in the womb of a surrogate mother here.

"Several couples from abroad who have good quality frozen embryos often look for surrogacy options in India. Also, many Indian couples temporarily settled abroad may have undergone IVF treatment there and want to import embryos for further development here. This relaxation in import norms will benefit them," said Dr Hrishikesh Pai, presidentelect of the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction.

Such couples will be subject to stringent checks. They must be heterosexual, married for at least two years, and show proof of infertility of at least one of the couple. Embryo import will also be allowed only after the couple has obtained a no-objection certificate from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). 

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