Two Israeli gay men have became the first known same-sex couple to 'father' children courtesy a surrogacy programme in Mumbai.
The gay couple has left India with their twins, a boy and a girl. They were delivered this September at Hiranandani Hospital.
The couple learnt about the programme on the Internet and contacted infertility specialist Dr Gautam Allahbadia of Rotunda Clinic, Centre for Human Reproduction. The program helped them choose an Indian woman to donate the eggs as well as a surrogate mother.
"In February, we performed the in vitro fertilization procedure with sperm from one of the men and the donor's egg. The embryo transfer was done on February 21," Dr Allahbadia reports. The couple stayed at the hospital for two months. After the twins were born on September 17, they returned to take them away.
According to Allahbadia , many foreign couples come to India for surrogacy programmes. Yet this was the first case involving a gay couple, and could well become a trendsetter for other such couples, he was reported.
Surrogacy programmes in India are currently regulated by guidelines framed by the Indian Council of Medical Research in 2005. Minister Renuka Chowdhury has announced laws which will be checking the possible exploitation of women in the 'rent-a-womb' business.