Indian Fertility Clinics to Come Under Government Scrutiny

on November 14, 2012

In India, a new government panel has been created to rein in unscrupulous fertility clinics  that exploit women for the purposes of surrogacy.  The new panel will create guidelines to bring IVF centers under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act.

The 10-member committee will study all issues related to the surrogacy practice in India, and will have some oversight over all Indian fertility clinics that help conduct surrogacy.

The goal of the committee is to draft future legislation aimed at regulating Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) centers, to ensure that women acting as surrogates are not discriminated against. The rise of India as a worldwide center for surrogacy is also giving rise to some unscrupulous, make-shift “fertility centers” in which young unmarried women are being lured to rent their womb in lieu of money.

The practice of these profiteering fertility clinics poses a danger not only to the safety of women surrogates, but also to the legitimate clinics that practice Ethical Surrogacy. Such “Ethical” centers provide a valuable service to both childless couples and women who act as surrogates.

“Though a boon, surrogacy is also leading to the exploitation of women, mostly due to its commercial nature of usage without a proper regulatory framework,” said T C Benjamin, Assistant Chief Secretary of Health.

The government will likely ask the committee expedite its final proposal, since the current surrogacy regulation has been stalled in the Indian parliament since 2010.  However, no official timeline for the new proposal has been reported.

Read the article at Indian Express online.


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