Centre makes medical insurance plan mandatory for surrogate moms

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Latest Delhi: The federal government has issued fresh surrogacy rules, making it mandatory for couples who want to develop into parents through surrogacy to purchase medical insurance plans for surrogate moms.

In a gazette notification published on 21 June, the union health ministry has described the necessities and qualifications to run a surrogacy clinic together with the prescribed format of a consent form, and application form for registration of a surrogacy clinic and intending couple to avail surrogacy.

In line with the brand new provisions, the intending couples might want to purchase a general medical insurance cover in favour of a surrogate mother for a period of 36 months from an insurance company or an agent recognized by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) for an amount which is sufficient to cover all expenses for all complications arising out of pregnancy and in addition covering postpartum delivery complications.

As per the Surrogacy Regulation Act 2021, insurance means an arrangement by which an organization, individual or intending couple undertakes to offer a guarantee of compensation for medical expenses, health issues, specified loss, damage, illness or death of a surrogate mother and such other prescribed expenses incurred on such surrogate mother throughout the means of surrogacy.

“The federal government has also ensured that the variety of attempts of any surrogacy procedure on the surrogate mother shall not be greater than 3 times. A surrogate mother could also be allowed for abortion throughout the means of surrogacy in accordance with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 in case of any complication as advised by the doctors,” it said.

Every private surrogacy clinic has to file an application for registration with a fee of 2 lakh which is non-refundable. Nonetheless, facilities under government-run institutes are exempted from paying such fees.

“A replica of the certificate of registration shall be displayed by the registered surrogacy clinic at a conspicuous place at its workplace. Surrogacy clinics shall have at the very least one gynaecologist, one anaesthetist, one embryologist and one counselor,” stated the notification.

“Surrogacy has lots of dimensions. The couple ought to be married for greater than five years. It’s an excellent move which can help the ladies undergoing surrogacy. Globally One in six couples have difficulty in conceiving resembling medication, IVF and surrogacy,” said Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj, IVF expert and director of Nurture IVF clinic in Latest Delhi.

“Under the Surrogacy Rules 2022, a surrogate mother has to provide her consent through an agreement for giving up all her rights over the kid and shall hand over the kid/children to the intending couple, or to a Person (could also be appointed by the intending couple) in case of their separation during her pregnancy or in case of death of each, or to the survivor in case of the death of one in all intending couple while pregnant, as soon as she is permitted to achieve this by the hospital or clinic or nursing home where the kid or children are delivered,” said Siddharth Malkania, a senior advocate in Delhi.

One other IVF expert, Dr Priyanka Arya at Curis Multispeciality clinic based in Nodia said that a medical insurance cover for 36 months which incorporates postpartum expense for surrogate mother is an extended period as it should unnecessarily burden the intending couple.

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