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UHM notifies regulations for surrogacy clinics

The Union Ministry of Health Affairs has notified rules under the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, listing a few conditions for couples opting to take the surrogacy route to become parents. The rules notified on June 21 say couples going for surrogacy will have to buy a general health insurance coverage in favour of the surrogate mother for a period of 36 months, and the insurance amount must adequately cover expenses for all complications, if any, arising out of the pregnancy, and also postpartum delivery, news agency PTI reported.

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021 came into force in India on January 25 this year.

According to the rules now notified by the health ministry, not more than three attempts of any surrogacy procedure can be made on the surrogate mother, the PTI report said. Also, the surrogate mother may be allowed to go for an abortion during the process of surrogacy, in accordance with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

The rules also specify the requirement and qualifications for people working at a registered surrogacy clinic, besides noting the form and manner for registration and fee for these clinics.

The format of the consent form to be signed by a surrogate mother is also mentioned in the rules.

What the rules have for surrogate mothers
“The intending woman or couple shall purchase a general health insurance coverage in favour of surrogate mother for a period of 36 months from an insurance company or an agent recognised by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority established under the provisions of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, for an amount which is sufficient enough to cover all expenses for all complications arising out of pregnancy and post-partum delivery complications,” the rules read, according to the PTI report.

The intending couple/woman will also have to give an affidavit in court “as a guarantee of compensation for medical expenses, health issues, specified loss, damage, illness or death of surrogate mother and such other prescribed expenses incurred on such surrogate mother” during the process.

According to the rules, the gynaecologist carrying out the procedure shall transfer one embryo in the uterus of the surrogate mother during one treatment cycle. Up to three embryos may be transferred, but only in special circumstances.

Who can opt for surrogacy?
The rules make it clear under which conditions a woman can opt for surrogacy to become a mother. These are: if she has no uterus, a missing uterus, abnormal uterus, or if the uterus has been surgically removed due to gynaecological cancer or any other medical conditions.

Other conditions that allow a woman to go for surrogacy are multiple pregnancy losses suffered due to an unexplained medical reason, any illness that makes it impossible for a woman to carry a pregnancy to viability, or a pregnancy that is life threatening. ABP LIVE

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