India to regulate surrogacy: Why?

A report in a respected Indian newspaper earlier this year claimed the city of Hyderabad has at least 250 clinics that claim to offer IVF but only 11 of which were voluntarily registered with the authorities.

Dr Sharma said: “Nobody could have envisaged the sharp increase in Indian surrogacy for foreigners and we accept this will not slow down, but in fact get more popular.”

Dr Sharma has chaired a committee which has drawn up proposals for industry standard. It would guarantee safety standards for the first time, outlaw sex selection, forbid women capable of childbirth making use of surrogacy and set up the first register of clinics, with a regime of inspections and sanctions for those which fail them.

There\’s a very important question here. Why regulate?

A doctor at another leading clinic was willing to tell The Sunday Telegraph of what he said was a disturbing trend of couples who have babies through surrogacy because the woman does not want the stress of childbearing.

Dr Anoop Gupta, director of Delhi IVF and Fertility Centre, refuses to offer such treatments, but spoke out of concern that others in the unregulated fertility industry do.

“These women have the ability to conceive naturally, but for various reasons turn to IVF,” he said. “I do not encourage such people because mentally they are not good or fit. They are capable of giving birth, but the woman is worried about her figure or her career. We have come across several couples like this.

“I do not entertain these wealthy women who want to buy into a remarkable medical procedure and have babies through these means, even though they are able to carry babies themselves.”

As everyone involved seems to be engaged in entirely voluntary exchange, what is the reason to regulate?

I\’m afraid that I really, really, do not understand.

We have here in the UK a set of laws, with a very large lobby behind it, that insists that a woman who is pregnant can scoop out that baby and dispose of it whenever she likes for whatever reason she likes. I believe the situation in India over abortion is similar.

So why, as long as the entire process is indeed voluntary on all sides, should there be rules and regulations about how the baby ended up in that womb in the first place?

Adultery, marriage, sperm bottled or draught, paid, not paid, surrogate, whose eggs: what damn business is it of politics?

Other than, you know, what would politicians do all day if it wasn\’t extend their power over voluntary transactions?

5 thoughts on “India to regulate surrogacy: Why?”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    I am sure the pointless expansion of authority has something to do with it – and why would anyone go into politics but for the mindless joy of pushing other people around in an endless power trip – but also there’s the India factor. They probably want to shake people down. Western people have money. They want to give poor Indian people money. Some other Indians clearly want a slice of the dosh.

    Not forgetting sheer stupidity and bloody mindedness. Indians will not look after all the children abandoned on the streets. But unlike the Koreans or even the Chinese, they will not allow adoption by foreigners unless they are of Indian descent. Better dead than raised in another culture it seems. Anyone capable of such callous evil is pretty much capable of anything.

  2. “We have here in the UK a set of laws, with a very large lobby behind it, that insists that a woman who is pregnant can scoop out that baby and dispose of it whenever she likes for whatever reason she likes.”

    No, we don’t. We have a law which (among other things) says that abortion may be carried out if not aborting poses a risk to the mental health of the woman. If doctors define “risk to mental health” frivolously, or if they don’t follow the law, or they are not prosecuted when they break it, that is a different matter.

  3. Do attitudes to surrogacy line up in a neat little row behind attitudes to prostitution?

    If so: what’s the difference?

  4. Blokeinfrance: The end result? Most prostitutes I know try very hard to avoid getting pregnant. Although if you mean what’s the moral difference, there is none. Both are perfectly valid transactions when between two or more consenting adults, and beyond policing “consent” and “adult”, the government should push off and mind its own business.

  5. John: ‘If doctors define “risk to mental health” frivolously, or if they don’t follow the law’

    Your “or” would seem to acknowledge that a frivolous definition does not place a doctor outside the law. Which would go quite a long way towards explaining the lack of successful prosecutions.

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