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Child rights panel wants adherence to norms on surrogacy


Press Trust of India Mumbai
The Maharashtra Child Rights Commission has recommended strict implementation of the ICMR's guidelines for those desiring to have a child through surrogacy.
It has asked the state government to set up a task force to monitor the implementation of guidelines and to tighten the supervision of hospitals facilitating delivery of children through surrogacy.
The Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has also asked people, including actors, desiring a child through surrogacy, surrogate mothers, egg/sperm donors to register themselves with clinics or hospitals, that in-turn have to be registered with an appropriate government authority.
Notably, some Bollywood personalities, including Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar, have had children through surrogacy in the recent past.
In its 17-page order, issued on March 22, the commission asked the state government to implement guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) till the bill on surrogacy laws was pending in Parliament.
It asked the state government to set up a task force and a monitoring cell, comprising officers from the health and police departments, and representatives of reputed NGOs, to keep an eye on the implementation of ICMR's guidelines on surrogacy.
The commission came up with the recommendations after a city-based advocate, Siddhvidya Thakur, filed a complaint with it a year ago about a 43-year-old woman from suburban Mulund being abandoned by her husband after he had a male child through surrogacy, without his wife's consent.
The child right's commission chairperson, Pravin Ghuge, told PTI that the recommendations have been forwarded to the state government with a hope that they will be implemented.
"Our commission had received complaints about the misuse of the surrogacy method in the absence of clear cut regulations for it. So, we observed the ICMR's guidelines and found that it would be better to follow them till the bill pertaining to this is pending in Parliament," he said.
The complainant welcomed the commission's decision and said that it will put an end to the "murky world of surrogacy" where, she alleged, the business was booming in connivance with hospitals.
"A few months back, I had filed RTI queries with all major hospitals of the city and sought details of deliveries of children through surrogacy. I was shocked to find out that no hospitals were maintaining such records," she claimed.
"Moreover, while fighting some surrogacy cases in courts, I came to know that in the absence of a proper law, there was rampant violation of children's rights," she alleged.

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First Published: Apr 04 2018 | 4:25 PM IST

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