Thursday, May 07, 2009

The surrogacy racket

It's amazingly easy to fool infertile couples - especially those who are
desperate , and are clutching at straws. An excellent example is what some IVF clinics in India who offer surrogacy do.

Even though these clinics know that there is no legal method of allowing the couple to take the baby after birth with them out of India ( because Indian law only recognises the birth mother, whose name must go on the child's birth certificate, which is a legal document), they use the garb of the " ICMR guidelines" ( which have no legal validity whatsoever) to put the intended parent's ( the infertile couple's) name on the child's birth certificate. While one may justify doing this for various reasons, the fact remains that the truth is being distorted out of shape - and once you are willing to do this, it's very easy to continue the distortion even further. This is why these clinics refuse to allow the surrogate to give interviews to the media .

So how come so many couples continue to come to India for surrogacy ? The fact is that infertile couples are desperate, and because surrogacy is so much cheaper in India, they are happy to be party to this deception . The problem is that if the doctor can put a false name on the birth certificate, he can also lie to the intended parents.

A common racket is to tell the infertile couple that the surrogate got pregnant after the embryo transfer ; to collect the fees; and then to tell the infertile couple ( who is most probably in the US or UK and has no method of monitoring the surrogate's pregnancy, which means they have to rely completely on the doctor's integrity) that she miscarried at 8 weeks !

Unfortunately, there's no way to track how many of these " surrogate pregnancies" miscarry - which means that infertile couples are completely at the doctor's mercy - and some doctors will take undue advantage of this trust.

It's hard to place your trust in someone whom you know is not being completely honest. If the doctor can put a false name on the birth certificate ( and thus lie to the Government), what's to stop him from lying to the infertile couple ?

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