Wednesday, 3 July 2013

SRK and surrogacy

The month-long wait for details of actor Shah Rukh Khan's third baby, born with the help of a surrogate mother, is over. BMC officials have received a birth report with details that a baby boy was born on May 27 to parents listed as Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Shah Rukh Khan at Masrani Hospital for Women in Andheri. The child was born at 34 weeks of pregnancy and weighed 1.5kg at birth.

About surrogacy

Medical science allows motherhood to be divided into three categories

1.       Genetic mother
2.       Gestational mother
3.       Social mother

These "mothers" may be represented by as many as three different individuals.

A “gestational” surrogate is a woman who agrees to carry a pregnancy for another woman (intended mother). The intended mother provides the egg and the intended father provides the sperm; rarely, egg donors or sperm donors are involved. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is used to create an embryo, which is transferred into the uterus of the gestational surrogate. The gestational surrogate has no genetic connection to the embryo.

A “traditional” surrogate typically has a genetic connection to the embryo. The surrogate's own egg is fertilized by intrauterine insemination (IUI) of sperm from the intended father (or a sperm donor). Therefore, the surrogate has a genetic, as well as a gestational, connection to the embryo.

The role of surrogates is usually limited to carrying the pregnancy and delivery of the infant; it does not extend to the raising of the child (social mother). 

However, gestational and traditional surrogates may be family members, and thus may maintain familial contact with the child.

Indications for use of gestational surrogate include: absence of a functional uterus, medical conditions potentially associated with pregnancy-related mortality or serious morbidity, and poor obstetrical history. 

The physical and emotional health of potential gestational surrogates should be evaluated. 

An expert team of healthcare providers, counselors, and attorneys is involved in drafting an agreement between the gestational surrogate and the intended parents for the protection of both parties 

The live birth rate of gestational surrogates is as high or higher than that in age matched controls undergoing routine IVF. 

Surrogate pregnancy does not appear to negatively impact parenting or child development.

ICMR guidelines

1.         The ART Clinic must not be a party to any commercial element in donor programmes or in gestational surrogacy.

2.          No ART procedure shall be done without the spouse’s consent.

3.          Sex selection at any stage i.e. both before and after fertilization or abortion of embryos of any particular sex should not be permitted except to avoid the risk of transmission of a genetic abnormality assessed through genetic testing of biological parents or through pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).

4.          Use of sperm donated by a relative or a known friend of either the wife or the husband should not be permitted. It will be the responsibility of the ART clinic to obtain sperm from appropriate    banks.

5.          The committee has recommended accepting semen only from Semen Bank and not from the individual. Hence it has also been recommended that Semen Bank should be an independent organization, if set up by an ART clinic it must operate as a separate identity.

6.          No relative or a person known to the couple may act as surrogate. 

7.          Surrogacy by assisted conception should normally be considered only for patients for whom it would be physically or medically impossible/undesirable to carry a baby to term.

8.          The genetic (Biological) parents must adopt a child born through surrogacy.

9.          After a specific consent, the embryos may be stored for five years and stored embryos may be used either for other couple or for research after taking the consent of the couple to whom the embryos belongs.

10.         The sale or transfer of human embryos or any part thereof, or of gametes in any form and in way that is directly or indirectly to any party outside the country must be prohibited.

11.         Human cloning for delivering replicas must be banned.

12.         Stem cell cloning and research on embryos (less than 15 days old) needs to be encouraged.

13.         A child born through ART should be presumed to be the legitimate child to the couple, born within wedlock and all the attendant rights of parentage, support and inheritance.

14.         Though there is no legal bar on an unmarried or single woman going  for AID (Artificial insemination with donor), however it is  universally recommended that AID should be performed only on  married woman and that, too, with the written consent of her  husband.

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