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Indians now turning to surrogacy?

Dec 07, 2011 01:54 PM IST India India

New Delhi: Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao are among the first celebrities to talk about it openly, but how many Indians are turning to surrogacy? Or even know about the possibilities of IVF? It's a pressing issue given that 30 million couples in India struggle with infertility.

A boon to those couples, In-Vitro Fertilisation or IVF is a technique in which eggs are fertilised outside the body, and then implanted in the womb. Surrogacy is when a woman carries a baby to term for another.

It's not cheap. Each cycle of IVF costs around 1 to Rs 1.5 lakh.

At this point, India doesn't have a law governing IVF or surrogacy but there is a draft bill in the works that aims to protect the rights of surrogates, and regulate the assisted reproduction industry in India estimated to be worth more than Rs 25,000 crore. That's even as a debate is raging worldwide.

That's the woman dubbed Octo-Mom, 33-year-old Nadia Suleman gave birth to eight babies in California through IVF. Rasing serious questions on how well she could take care of them. Especially now that she's facing massive financial strain.

Back home in Hissar, Haryana, Bhateri Devi made headlines, for becoming a mother to triplets, at the age of 66, thanks to IVF. How ethical was that?

Dr Duru Shah, IVF Specialist, says, "After the age of menopause, which in our country is around 48, a woman stops producing children. Therfore, probably nature meant it that a woman should not have a child.

There's no doubt that with a 50 per cent rise in infertility over the past decade, according the Health Ministry's own statistics, India's going to need to address an increase in interest in assisted reproduction.