With ban on commercial surrogacy in India, couple wanted to take their embryos back


MUMBAI:  In a legal spill-over of the ban on commercial surrogacy, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday allowed an American couple to make a representation to the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and Department of Family Welfare to allow them take back to their country eight embryos kept by them in a hospital in Mumbai.

A division bench headed by Justice Shantunu Kemkar allowed the couple to make a representation to the DGFT and the ministry and asked the government to decide on it within three weeks.

The bench gave liberty to the respondents (DGFT and the Ministry) to file an affidavit in case they decide to reject the couple’s representation.
The embryos had to be kept at a low temperature in cold storage at the couple’s own cost every day and thus they had to incur expenditure on this.
Almost a week ago, the court had directed the couple to make DGFT and Ministry of Family Welfare respondents.
The judges were of the view that import and export regulations are governed by DGFT and it should be made a party and since the petition was about embryos, the Family Welfare department should also be heard in this matter.

The petitioner’s counsel had argued that the government should not adopt an adversarial approach, and find a solution to the problem instead.

“These are our embryos and what will the government do with them. We had brought them to India in accordance with the laws of this country and after seeking permission of the authorities. Now that surrogacy is banned in India, we want to take them back,” the lawyer had argued.

The court had earlier asked the respondents to spell out the government’s policy on the issue.

During the hearing of petition last month, the bench had also asked the couple how they could file this petition because the Constitution gave such right only to Indian citizens.

However, their lawyer argued that Article 21 gave such a right to every person, even to a foreign national. “This is because right to life (under A 21) includes right to have a baby and hence the couple has a right to file such petition in the high court,” the lawyer had argued.

The petition said the couple tried to have a baby for many years but failed, and the doctors advised them surrogacy. Accordingly, the American doctors, using the couple’s sperms and eggs, created the embryos and advised them to get a surrogate mother.

The couple sent the frozen embryos to India by a special courier. They obtained ‘surrogacy visa’ and came to India. In April 2015, the Indian Council for Medial Research had given no objection certificate to the couple to import their frozen embryos from the US.

But in November 2015, the Centre announced a change in the policy and banned surrogacy for foreign couples.

The couple then asked the hospital to return the frozen embryos, but the hospital refused, saying import and export of embryos was now banned.

The couple approached the Indian government, which also refused to allow them take back the embryos citing the new rules.

The couple argued that taking back the embryos did not amount to ‘exporting’ them out of India, because they were seeking to restore them back to the place from where they had originated.

Surrogacy in Ukraine Sees Rapid Growth

First few Baby Exit

First few Baby Exit

Ukraine-1 Ukraine-2Experts predict further growth in demand for Ukrainian surrogate mothers among foreigners since Mexico, India, Nepal, and Thailand have recently banned commercial surrogacy, while Ukraine still allows it.

Since the crisis hit Ukraine’s economy and the war with Russia broke out in 2014, more Ukrainian women consider surrogacy as a solution to their financial difficulties. Surrogate mothers can receive up to $13,000 compensation plus a $400 monthly allowance. A surge in the supply in the surrogate maternity market in Ukraine has pushed down the price of the procedure for would-be parents.

While there isn’t an official statistics for the number of surrogate births in Ukraine, one of the surrogate agencies the Kiev Post spoke to estimated that approximately 300 children are born every year from surrogate mothers. But the numbers can grow soon

Moreover, Ukraine has recently lost several competitors on the world surrogacy market. In 2015, Mexico, India, and Thailand, formerly known as popular destinations for legal and affordable surrogacy, banned it for foreigners. In 2016, Nepal joined the ban.

Ukraine legalized commercial surrogacy and egg and sperm donation in 2002. No specific permission from any regulatory body is required except for a written consent form signed by all parties. The law gives a surrogate mother no parental rights over the child born.



Bill To Ban Commercial Surrogacy Introduced In Lok Sabha, 21/11/2016

NEW DELHI:  In a move to ban commercial surrogacy, a bill was today introduced in the Lok Sabha which also seeks to protect women from exploitation and ensure the rights of the child born through surrogacy.
The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 was introduced by Health Minister J P Nadda.

Once approved by Parliament, there will be a complete ban on commercial surrogacy, but altruistic surrogacy will be permitted for needy infertile couples under strict regulations.

The bill entitles only Indian citizens to avail of surrogacy. But foreigners, non-resident Indians (NRI) and persons of Indian origin (PIO) are not allowed to seek surrogacy in the country.

Homosexuals, single parents, and live-in couples are also not entitled for surrogacy. Also couples who already have children will not be allowed to go in for surrogacy, though they would be free to adopt a child under a separate law.

With no law governing surrogacy, India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries. There have been incidents concerning unethical practices, exploitation of surrogate mothers and abandonment of children born out of surrogacy.

The bill allows surrogacy only for legally married couples after five years of marriage and with a certificate from a doctor stating that they are medically unfit to produce a child. Women within the age group of 23 years to 50 years and men aged between 26 to 55 years will be eligible to go in for surrogacy.

In an attempt to check commercial exploitation and middlemen, the surrogate mother can only be a close relative, like a sister or sister-in-law who is married and has at least one healthy biological child. A woman can be a surrogate only once in her lifetime.

Cambodia bans booming Surrogacy industry, government may consider drafting law

Ministry of Health Bans Surrogate Pregnancy

Finally the Legal Surrogacy is the way

The recent developments at India, Thailand, Nepal and Cambodia has clearly set the path for the Legal Surrogacy. No more mess around Surrogate mother and harassment. Even the Citizens and their Embassies will be more sorted on the process.

I am headed Ukraine in the coming month. Many cases to help 🙂


Latest news article regarding Embryos Release (court responds)

latest news article requesting embryos release (Mumbai Court Responds) ISAPL team has been closely following with government departments requesting release of embryos. Once release officially granted then team can assist with the courier.

Bombay high court has asked the central government to clear its stand on whether an American couple can take back their embryo – unborn child/baby – kept in a laboratory to their home country after the Union government banned commercial surrogacy in India last month. (more…)

Latest Surrogacy News, Cambodia

With tougher laws in India, doctors and couples are increasingly moving to the east Asian nation.

Bhoomi Shah says she lives the good life in Ahmedabad. She has a well-paying job, has a car that she likes to drive around and lives in a bungalow with her parents, who have always supported her decisions and life choices. So last week, she packed her bags and made a quick three-day trip to Cambodia — not drawn to the east Aisa nation by the iconic Angkor Wat, but to rent a womb. (more…)

Pending Frozen Embryos (Release Efforts)

In my opinion, the embryos should be either returned or allowed to be used by Intended parents.

Here is an article appearing in today’s daily. I have shared my opinion.

Human embryos of couples from across the world, frozen in liquid nitrogen at countless infertility clinics across India, now float in a sea of uncertainty with surrogacy laws in India set to become tougher, but no explanation on offer as to why these embryos can’t be returned to their genetic owners. (more…)

LH flight ISAPL nurse escort to Toronto Canada

This medical escort by a flight nurse is another example of the type of complicated transfer ISAPL safely arranges on regular basis.

Dear Officer,

I would like to express my gratitude for providing assistance (via information and support to ISAPL) in bringing Mrs. Kamaladevi (Canadian Senior Citizen required medical evacuation from Chennai to Toronto.) (more…)

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