What’s the alternative to Surrogacy in India?
Options still exist now that India has closed to foreigners
Couples looking at surrogacy in India are now finding legal and more secure options at alternate destinations, including the United States, the Ukraine, or Kenya.
New legislation by the Indian Health Ministry will regulate and supervise clinics performing IVF and surrogacy in India, as well as to ensure the safe and ethical practice of fertility services. But the bill also includes provisions that ban surrogacy for all foreign couples.
The draft legislation has been under consideration by the Ministry of Health for years. But in late 2015 the Ministry of Health finally pushed the bill to a vote by the Parliament. As of November clinics had been instructed to turn away all foreign couples seeking surrogacy in India.
In advance of the new legislation, a letter from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) made surrogacy in India impossible for non-Indians, effectively immediately. The letter was issued at the behest of the Health Ministry, and it tells fertility clinics “not to entertain any foreigners for availing surrogacy services in India.”
Needless to say the move has caused confusion among those who have already started the legal, medical and administrative procedures necessary to have a baby overseas using a surrogate. Indian clinics scrambled to reassure foreign couples who have started the process of having a baby using a surrogate mother. As of early 2016 couples are still trying to come to terms with the new restrictions, unable to transport their conceived embryos from India clinics, but also unable to move forward with their own surrogacy programs.
In the past, new legislation in India has provided a “grace period” in which couples and clinics that had started their process were allowed to continue and complete there cycles. This time around the Grace Period was quite brief. Only couples that had started their clinical procedures before November 4, 2015 were able to continue under the new restrictions — and these only on a case-by-case basis.
Future Parents, Find the Affordable Options Worldwide!
Is Surrogacy In India Legal?
Surrogacy in India had been legal since 2002. But that all changed in late 2015 when the government promised to enact new legislation that would ban surrogacy in India for all foreign couples, as well as for Indian couples who were not legally married and could not conceive naturally.
Surrogacy Visas and other permissions given earlier would be cancelled effective immediately, according to the Home Ministry notice to all Indian Missions abroad and FRRO Offices. The circular said all those granted surrogacy visas should be “informed of the position immediately”. The announcement effectively counters the earlier policy in place since July 2012.
Similarly, no exit visas are allowed to be issued by FRRO offices for surrogacy in India. That move will have the effect of potentially stranding hundreds of couples with surrogates now pregnant, who will require exit visas in order to return to their home countries with their babies. Such exit visas will be reviewed on a case -by-case basis.
“No exit permission should be granted by FRRO to the child to be born through surrogacy to foreign nationals including OCI cardholders,” the notification said.
“However, for child or children born through surrogacy in India already commissioned on or before issue of this circular, exit permission will be decided by FRRO on case to case basis.”
The Affordable Alternatives to Surrogacy in India
Aside from the option of surrogacy in India, there are still excellent, less-expensive options available for couples who want to start their surrogacy journey. Our network of excellent IVF clinics extends to multiple countries, and we are happy to be make these options available.
The options moving forward are now:
Kenyan clinics support heterosexual couples and singles parents, and also are among the most affordable destinations worldwide for surrogacy. With the closing of Southeast Asia as a surrogacy destination, Kenya is emerging as a new frontier for couples willing to take the risk. However there are sincere drawbacks, especially for same-sex couples whose lifestyle is punishable by imprisonment (or worse) in Kenya.
Nairobi has recently emerged as a center of medical Tourism within Africa, with facilities being constructed to cater to the needs of Western travelers. Our partner clinic is founded by highly-trained professionals from India and serves an international clientele.
There is no specific legislation regarding surrogacy in Kenya, so there is a likelihood of future government restrictions. The local government introduced legislation in 2015 in support of surrogacy contracts, but the issue was stalled and has not made significant progress since then. That said, assisted reproduction is culturally accepted, and the Kenyan constitution explicitly grants all citizens the right to children and a family.
The most legally stable and secure destination overseas is the Ukraine. The Ukraine has explicit Federal legislation supporting surrogacy contracts for heterosexual, married couples. (While couples need to be married, there is no requirement on the length of the marriage, so newlyweds are also able to pursue surrogacy in Ukraine.)
Kiev is a popular destination for European couples, and has a long history in facilitating international adoption. Since 2009 the country has been growing as a hub for overseas surrogacy. We work with a variety of clinics in Kiev, and we offer a exclusive “guarantee” program that refunds 90% of your clinical fees if your surrogate does not become pregnant.
Our latest program offers IVF procedures in Mexico with the prenatal care and birth in the United States. The combined program fully adheres to new restrictions on surrogacy in Mexico, provides the security of U.S. surrogacy laws, while also reducing the total cost of surrogacy to about half of typical American surrogacy programs.
The U.S. is the international gold standard for fertility treatments, including surrogacy. Unlike surrogacy in Mexico, the U.S. is has explicit laws supporting surrogacy contracts. Birth certificates issued under surrogacy agreements automatically include the name of the Future Parents as the legal mother and father. Laws in several U.S. states also permit commercial services that support surrogates and Future Parents. Children born via surrogacy agreements in the U.S. are entitled to American citizenship.
Feel free to contact us to learn about the alternatives to surrogacy in India. Including current and upcoming programs, and special packages such a “Guarantee” and “Money Back” programs in Cambodia and Kiev.