Third party Reproduction in Recent Scenario
Published as Editorial in the Indian Medical Association (indexed journal); May 2007; Volume 105; No. 5
Present day advancement in assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures has opened a new area known as surrogacy which can otherwise be called third party reproduction. Third party reproduction made it possible for a child to have 5 parents as following genetic mother, genetic father, gestational mother, rearing mother, rearing father. As the procedure is becoming popular now-a-days, the necessity of detailed information about social, psychological and legal aspects are of immense importance A surrogate mother (SM) is a woman who carries pregnancy for another woman. The ethical, moral and legal issues have far lagged behind the technical development in the process of third party reproduction. The first in-vitro fertilization (IVF) surrogate pregnancy occurred in the United States in l985. This is called gestational surrogacy where egg and sperm of two other individuals are used to create a pregnancy in the carried by using IVF technology. Gestational carrier arrangements have become more common in recent years, in part due to the availability of IVF, and in part due to their reduced legal risk. The few reported decisions reflect a general consensus that the couple providing the gametes and intending to parent the child are the child's legal parents, overcoming any common law presumption of maternity based on giving birth.
The other form of surrogacy is traditional surrogacy where IVF procedure is not required. In these cases the surrogate is inseminated with sperm of the male partner of infertile couple. In the former form of surrogacy the carrier is not genetically related to the child but in the later form the new born is genetically related to the surrogate and the male partner, but not the infertile female partner otherwise called rearing up mother. So in traditional surrogacy, the infertile couple should legally adopt this child after birth. A gestational carrier contract should be as comprehensive as possible, setting forth, for example, the parties' intentions with respect to the parentage of the child, their financial arrangements, prenatal care, delivery plans, selective reduction, abortion, future contact among the parties, and co-operation on legal steps to establish parentage. Because of constitutional procreative rights and protections, specific performance of certain critical aspects of an agreement, such as selective reduction and abortion, is highly unlikely. Should a carrier beach that aspect of an agreement, provisions for damages may be appropriate and enforceable Gestational surrogacy may be considered by a woman who has functioning ovaries but either absent or non-functioning or malformed uterus. In certain situations where pregnancy may cause a threat to the life of the female partner, gestational surrogacy may be considered. Traditional surrogacy is called for when ovaries of a woman are non-functioning and classically where the uterus is also absent or non-functioning along with. This form of surrogacy may also be considered by a woman who has a transmissible genetic disease. Before selecting a surrogate, the screening procedures, psychological and legal issues are to be considered. The ethical, moral and social issues need careful consideration as well.
As the demand of surrogacy increasing in India along with ART procedures ICMR has come out with many guidelines about ART for surrogacy. The ICMR guidelines are as follows:
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