State health department regulates surrogacy operations

Surrogacy centres in Maharashtra will be monitored by a state-level monitoring cell and will be mandated to submit a report in front of the Children Court before opting for a surrogacy procedure

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As India lacks strict laws to regulate surrogacy operations, the state public health department has taken charge to issue guidelines to streamline surrogacy in the country. The Maharashtra Child Rights Commission has attempted to keep a tab on uncontrolled surrogacy centres, hospitals and agencies.

As per the recommendations of the child rights body, surrogacy centres will be supervised by a state-level monitoring cell in handling surrogacy cases following the norms of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The commission has made it mandatory to submit a report before the Children Court constituted under Section 25 of the Child Rights Protection Commission Act, 2005, for a surrogacy procedure.

The seven-member committee headed by Vandana Krishna, additional chief secretary of the education department, will comprise JJ 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 will work towards framing clearer rules for registration of assisted reproductive technology centres as well as for a surrogate mother, her spouse, her egg and sperm donors.

For handling local cases, the committee is likely to consider creating grievance cells on a divisional level. Along with surrogacy centres, IVF centres offering surrogacy services will also have to follow the registration procedure as per law.

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