Subscribe to the BioNews newsletter for free

Advanced Search

Search for

Print Page Follow BioNews on Twitter BioNews RSS feed

Like the Progress Educational Trust on Facebook

King's College London - Health: More than a medical matter

Britons paying up to £25,000 for Indian surrogate babies

06 June 2012

By Jessica Ware

Appeared in BioNews 659

Around half of the 2,000 babies born to surrogate mothers in India last year may have gone to British parents, an investigation by the Sunday Telegraph has revealed.

The newspaper says there are up to 1,000 fertility clinics in the country with many specialising in international surrogacy arrangements. It is estimated the industry is worth up to £1.5 billion each year and growing.

Dr Radhey Sharma, deputy director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said: 'Nobody in India actually knows for sure how many babies are born through these commercial enterprises and how many places are involved'.

'I have the database of some 600 IVF clinics in India, but that is not a complete list. There could be around 400 more clinics operating without any regulation', he added.

In the UK, where around 100 babies are thought to have been born to surrogate mothers in 2011, commercial surrogacy is illegal and payments other than reasonable expenses are prohibited. Payment to an egg donor other than reasonable expenses of up to £750 per cycle of donation is also prohibited in the UK.

The Sunday Telegraph says an Indian surrogate can expect to receive on average around £6,000 if she donates her eggs and carries the child. British parents who are seen to have paid an Indian surrogate above reasonable expenses must obtain retrospective authorisation of the payment by a UK judge prior to the granting of parental status, which under UK law is automatically conferred on the birth mother - the surrogate - and, if married, her husband.

Although draft laws to regulate fertility clinics in India have not yet been finalised by the Indian Government (reported in BioNews 594), the ICMR and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have set up a national registry of fertility clinics in India.

The National ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) Registry of India (NARI) will provide 'appropriate help and assistance to all those who are engaged in taking care of infertility problems in the country', the ICMR says, and will allow for data on the number of clinics to be collected. Dr Sharma has invited clinics in India to be a part of the registry.

'There has been, consequently a mushrooming of such clinics around the country', said the ICMR. 'In public interest therefore, it has become important to regulate the functioning of such clinics to ensure that the services provided are ethical and that the medical, social and legal rights of all those concerned are protected'.

Until the draft Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill, compiled by Dr Sharma and other experts in 2010, is passed by legislators, the fertility industry in India will continue to be largely unregulated, although national guidelines are published by the ICMR.

The proposed regulations would make it more difficult for British parents to enter into arrangements with surrogates in India.



11 March 2013 - by Emma Stoye 
A surrogate mother in the United States, who refused an abortion at the intended parents' request after a scan revealed abnormalities, has told CNN news that she was offered money to terminate the fetus and was threatened with legal action.... [Read More]
25 February 2013 - by Nina Chohan 
A Canadian fertility consultancy firm and its owner have been charged with allegedly buying or offering to buy sperm or eggs and surrogacy services.... [Read More]
21 January 2013 - by Nishat Hyder 
The Indian Home Ministry has issued strict visa guidelines making it more difficult for commissioning parents to obtain visas for entry to India for surrogacy arrangements... [Read More]
22 October 2012 - by Natalie Gamble 
Consent requirements for surrogacy were created in 1990 and sought to discourage surrogacy, to make it a perilous undertaking that few would brave. With more experience behind us, we now know that surrogacy is not something to be quite so afraid of... [Read More]
06 June 2012 - by Natalie Gamble 
Indian surrogacy is a hot media topic, with several stories over the past week about couples being stuck in India waiting for British passports for their biological children. As far as we are concerned, this isn't really news – it is the shared experience of every British parent who has had a child through surrogacy in India, and something we deal with on a daily basis.... [Read More]

05 March 2012 - by James Brooks 
The Court of Appeal in Rennes, France, has upheld an earlier decision to accord civil status – similar to nationality – to twins carried by a surrogate mother in India for a French couple... [Read More]
12 December 2011 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
The UK's High Court has granted parental orders to a couple over two children born through an international surrogacy arrangement, ruling that payments made to the Indian surrogates were not 'disproportionate'... [Read More]
31 May 2011 - by Natalie Gamble 
More people are crossing borders to build their families than ever before. Prospective parents can easily access information about treatment options in countries where regulations permit treatments outlawed in the UK or where there is little or no regulation at all. But where surrogacy is involved, going abroad raises very difficult legal issues.... [Read More]
14 March 2011 - by Rachel Lyons 
The feature-length documentary 'Made in India' tackles cross-border surrogacy head-on by going beyond the sensational headlines to uncover for the first time the personal lives and choices of the surrogates and infertile people involved. The film follows an American couple, Lisa and Brian Switzer, on their quest to have a baby... [Read More]
21 February 2011 - by Nishat Hyder 
Uncertainty has arisen over the procedures followed by an Indian surrogacy clinic following the birth of twins to a gay couple from Spain. The couple used a donated egg, which was then artificially fertilised and implanted in a surrogate.... [Read More]

Be the first to have your say.

You need to Login or Register to add comments.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions



- click here to enquire about using this story.

Printer Friendly Page

Published by the Progress Educational Trust
FREE public event in central London, 6.30pm on Thursday 8 May 2014 - find out more HERE

DataLabel Supplying Printed Labels To The UK For Over 15 Years

Please donate HERE, so that the Progress Educational Trust can continue throughout 2014 (and beyond) while keeping BioNews FREE for you to read

The Progress Educational Trust was shortlisted for the Charity Times Awards 2011

Advertise your products and services HERE - click for further details

Good Fundraising Code

Become a Friend of PET HERE, and give the Progress Educational Trust a regular donation