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Surrogacy Centre Owners May Have to Get Clinics Registered as Maharashtra Decides to Regulate Practice

The committee is expected to frame clearer rules for registration of assisted reproductive technology centres as well as for a surrogate mother, her spouse, her egg and sperm donors.

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Updated:July 3, 2018, 10:52 AM IST
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Surrogacy Centre Owners May Have to Get Clinics Registered as Maharashtra Decides to Regulate Practice
File photo of surrogate mothers resting at a temporary home . (Reuters)
Mumbai: In the absence of stringent laws to regulate surrogacy in the country, the Maharashtra government has decided to regulate the practice in the state till the proposed Central bill comes into force.

The state public health department has constituted a committee to draft fresh guidelines on surrogacy following recommendations of the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSPCR) that had advised the government to form a state-level authority to monitor the infertility procedure and its misuse.

According to a Times of India report, registration of IVF centres offering surrogacy may be on the cards too.

The seven-member committee headed by Vandana Krishna, additional chief secretary of the education department, will comprise J J Hospital’s former gynaecology head Dr Rekha Davar, Solapur ACP Dr Deepali Kale, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) state coordinator Anuja Gulati, Pune’s Dr Sanjay Gupte and Nagpur’s Dr Sadhana Patwardhan.

The committee is expected to frame clearer rules for registration of assisted reproductive technology centres as well as for a surrogate mother, her spouse, her egg and sperm donors.

It is also likely to consider creating grievance cells on a divisional level to handle local cases. It will submit its report in the next three months. The decision to form the committee follows a Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights recommendation in April.

The child rights panel had suggested stringent rules for IVF centres that offer surrogacy after it received a complaint from Shubhandi Bhostekar, a mother of two daughters, whose husband Prakash Bhostekar allegedly abandoned the trio and commissioned surrogacy by giving a false affidavit. The state panel had also ordered criminal proceedings against Prakash in March 2018.

“We welcome the state decision,” said Pravin Ghuge, president, child rights panel.

Members of the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights believe that if implemented, these recommendations can bring about the much needed regularisation among the centres.

“Maharashtra could, in fact, lead the other states in terms of having good surrogacy laws in place instead of waiting for the Centre to pass the relevant bills. Commercial surrogacy is not bad per se, but commercialisation and subsequent exploitation of mothers needs to be stopped,” Ghuge was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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