With the recent information of certain celebrities using ART’s (Assisted Reproductive Technologies), there is a trend emerging trends, of couples opting for having children with the help of a surrogate mother (who carries the fertilized egg of the couple in the her womb). In recent times, actors like Aamir Khan as well as now Shahrukh Khan have opted for surrogacy via IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). As we dig deeper, here is what we find:
Stories from the west
Many celebrities around the world are opting for IVF as it is a way to bring the offspring of a couple’s own genetic make into the world, when the couple themselves cannot, for certain reasons. In Hollywood there have been many examples of couples opting for surrogacy- examples include Elton John and his partner David Furnish, Neil Patrick Harris and his partner David Burtka, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderik, Nichole Kidman and Keith Urban, etc.
The Indian scenario
India in the recent years has become a hot spot for commercial surrogacy and IVF. Many foreign couples find surrogate mothers in India to bring their genetic offspring into the world. There are also cases reported of exploitation of Indian women from poor families being forced into surrogacy for the sake of money. Another known fact is that most surrogate Indian mothers agree to be part of such procedures because of their own financial disposition. The maintenance money they get is used provide a better life for their own families.
Tips for couples opting for surrogacy
For a couple preparing to have a child through surrogacy or IVF, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration. Before selecting a surrogate mother, the couple needs to go through the process of interviewing all the prospective candidates rigorously and do a background check on each of them. It may also be advisable to go through an agency. Familiarizing oneself with the surrogate and her life and habits is very important. You need to know that she will care for the child in her womb. It is also good to have a transparent contract that looks after the rights of the couple as well as the surrogate mother. It is good to work out the legalities thoroughly and in a transparent way. Also, make time to meet your surrogate regularly and keep a check on her nutrition and health. Developing a relationship of trust and comfort will go a long way to benefit all parties involved.
Need for regulation
All in all, surrogacy is gaining momentum in the country but at the same time, the rules to regulate and unite all such procedures and give the needed facilities involved does not exist. The guidelines given by the ICMR are still to be converted into a law making it a legally binding document. It is also important that surrogate mothers especially in India get the required nutrition as well as suitable legal and social clauses which help make this process easier for them. After all, the gift of child is more precious than anything else, and this issue needs to be taken up with much more sensitivity and care.