Surrogacy is a Rs. 900 crore industry in India, wherein most of the business comes from foreign countries. Recently the government has banned surrogacy for foreigners in India. This has created a fury among doctors and other medical professionals who are involved in this business.
Doctors claim that surrogacy for foreigners is as legitimate as foreign patients who come for treatment in India. As in-vitro fertilization is expensive in foreign countries, therefore many prefer surrogacy.
The Head of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr R.S. Sharma has sent a directive to doctors across the country on October 27. In that it has been specified that doctors should not entertain any foreigners availing surrogacy services in India. It has also banned the import of human embryos.
This move will affect surrogacy business because only less number of Indians suffer from infertility and opt for surrogacy. According to doctors, 10,000 foreigners approach India for surrogacy.
"If you look at the statistics, three million people in India suffer from infertility but only 3 per cent opted for surrogate mothers. The numbers are less in India as people are not so open about the concept of surrogacy. But that is changing slowly, at least in the upper middle class," said Dr Hrishikesh Pai, president of Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction.
"If the government thinks we are exploiting surrogate mothers and paying them poorly, they can ask us to increase the amount. Banning surrogacy is not the solution," Pai added.