SurrogacyIndia’s focus is in fertility, not infertility. Making babies, is possible. ‘Possible’ is what we believe in.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Don't look down upon infertility

World Surrogacy Day was celebrated on 3 October with great enthusiasm as people from all walks of life came in support of surrogate mothers and children, expressing their solidarity with them and raising their concerns over their security and well-being, pressing for firm laws in various countries where the cause is exploited. Here in the Capital, as a mark of celebration of this day, the Indian Society for Third party Assisted Reproduction (INSTAR) organised nukkad nataks (street plays) in several parts of the city, including Saket, Qutub Minar, Lado Sarai and Mehrauli market. INSTAR's initiative was aimed at spreading awareness about surrogacy.

The nukad nataks were conducted in several parts of the Capital and on Sunday (4 October) several plays were enacted in Connaught Place area, Raahagiri, India Gate, Jantar Mantar and Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. The ongoing series of nukad natak, to spread awareness on surrogacy, will also be held in areas such as Akshardham, Atta Market near the GIP Mall in Noida, Laxmi Nagar and Krishna Nagar, before culminating with the INSTAR Annual Conference on 11 October at India Habitat Centre.

 On the occasion of the World Surrogacy Day, activists highlighted that medical experts as well as statistics presented by the World Health Organisation (WHO) have repeatedly suggested that infertility is on the rise and it is high time to address such issues for the welfare of mankind.

 A press communique issued by INSTAR mentioned that the medical fraternity is upset with the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill (ART). "The medico legal experts are not happy with the ART draft Bill, which has recently been made public. If this is made into law, it is completely contrary to public wish and ignores the needs of society. It is discriminatory and not reasonable to close doors for foreign surrogacy. It is strange that the Prime Minister of India is focusing to build up relations with foreign countries and in such a time we are getting a Bill to ban foreign surrogacy in India," said the press communique.

It also stated that India provides an ideal atmosphere for surrogacy and that the medical infrastructure, coupled with friendly parenthood, attracts foreigners for surrogacy in India.

However, reports of exploitation of surrogate mothers by pimps and middle men have often been reported. This supplement, in a comprehensive story on Surrogacy in September 2014, had called for stricter laws, stating, "India is the hot-spot in the internationally-booming surrogacy business but the 'baby-manufacturing' industry involves a paradox of desperate clients on one hand and poor surrogates on the other, thus casting numerous horror stories."

Ranjana Kumari from Centre for Social Research had earlier told The Statesman, "In the absence of strict regulations, the risks are very high because the entire surrogacy business revolves around middlemen agencies, who are only concerned about making profit. The doctors are there only to provide medical guidelines and as such the poor women are being exploited."

 On the other hand, during the week long series of nukad nataks and awareness programmes on surrogacy, the activists from INSTAR pressed on making the laws in favour of the society and its people. Radhika Thapar Bahl, lawyer with specialty in fertility and medico-legal aspects, including surrogacy, said "Today's world is realising the need for fertility treatment, including surrogacy. Intervention of law is to protect the interest of parties and child born through compensated surrogacy in such a way that it addresses legalities and specifies the rights and duties of parties clearly."

The INSTAR president called on people not to look down upon infertility. "The message to the society is that infertility is not to be looked down upon - an infertile couple should be treated as an equal human being without adding to their mental trauma. Fertility Treatment and Surrogacy is a boon for infertile couples," he said.


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