Surrogacy in India – A Bird’s Eye View

Assisted reproduction’: two words that define surrogacy to the lay reader or students of human biology.  When a woman carries a child in her womb to full term for another woman is referred to as surrogacy. In India, Surrogacy procedures are carried out as per the norms laid down by the Indian Council of Medical Research. (ICMR)


Step 1:  Examination of the medical and personal history of the patient is undertaken and detailed reports of past surgery and procedure performed  is obtained. If there have been any previous IVF cycles, obstetric treatment history, which is also recorded.


Step 2: Documentation begins along with guidance about the treatment procedures that will be followed in the coming months. Commissioning parents can select the surrogate of their choice after examining numerous profiles in the database of the IVF clinic.


Step 3: Once the surrogate is selected, both the intended mother and surrogate are put on birth control pills to synchronize their periods.  At times, formulations like Lupride, Gonalpeptyl, Suprefact or Suprecure may be required.


Step 4: Extensive medical screening of the surrogate mother happens after this step which might include: Hysteroscopy in case, ultrasonography demands it, pap smear, trial transfer to determine how to place the catherter with embryos, psychological testing and evaluation by psychologists monitoring the commitment of the surrogate lady to the process.


Step 5: Ovarian stimulation is initiated by fertility doctors monitoring follicular activity. Hormonal injections may be administered to develop the lining of the uterus in case; formulations like Oestrogen and Progesterone fail to yield desired results. Legal processes escrow arrangements are signed at this stage between the commissioning parents and surrogate mother before embryo transfer is undertaken.


Step 6: The genetic mother or egg donor undergoes oocycte removal procedure under general anaesthesia. Thereafter IVF/ICSI is performed with sperm obtained from genetic father or donor.  Cumulus Aided Transfer is used mostly for embryo transfer in the well primed uterus of the surrogate and a pregnancy test is performed after 14 days of embryo transfer.


Step 7: Once the pregnancy test is positive, ample care of the surrogate mother is taken with regular ultrasound scans, blood investigations, obstetric screening to monitor the health of the surrogate and the foetus. Both the surrogate and her husband are screened for infectious diseases and advanced tests are conducted on the surrogate to detect any chromosomal abnormalities in the baby.


The commissioning parents are informed at every step of the progress of the pregnancy. Once the baby is delivered, medical practitioners do not recommend commissioning parents to stay in touch with the surrogate.

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