Surrogacy Current Affairs

India’s first calf born to surrogate cow in Pune

India’s first calf delivered by a surrogate or recipient cow through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) technology carried out in a mobile laboratory was born in Indapur, Pune (Maharashtra). It has been named as Vijay.

This is for first time IVF procedure was successfully implemented at farm level with the help of mobile laboratory. Earlier similar experiment was carried out by the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) at the lab-level.

Key Facts

The purpose of producing surrogate calf was to protect indigenous cow breeds in its original form which have been destroyed due to cross-breeding. The experiment was successfully under taken by the JK Trust, an organisation which works at improving cattle breed.

In Vijay’s case, the donor cow belonged to the indigenous Gir breed, whose population across the country is around one lakh (unevenly spread across Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra).

In this experiment, the oocytes collected from the mother cow were kept in a special incubator. Using the IVF technology, these oocytes were fertilised inside the incubator with semen was collected from a Gir bull. After the oocytes developed into an embryo, they were transferred to the recipient cow.

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) technology

IVF or assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a process of fertilisation. In it, an egg is combined with sperm outside the body, in vitro (in glass or laboratory dish) to produce embryo. The embryo is then transferred to the uterus with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.

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Union Cabinet approves introduction of Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 to banning commercial surrogacy in country.

The Bill will ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples.

Salient Features of Bill

  • Regulate practices in ethical surrogacy in the country and prohibits commercial surrogacy including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes.
  • Calls for establishment National Surrogacy Board (NSB) at the central level and State Surrogacy Boards (SSB) and Appropriate Authorities in States/Union Territories.
  • Allows ethical surrogacy for all infertile Indian married couple in the country.
  • Protects rights of surrogate mother and children born out of surrogacy.
  • The law will apply to whole of India, except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • All Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) clinics will be registered.

Major benefits

  • Regulates the surrogacy services in the country.
  • Ban unethical commercial surrogacy and also sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes.
  • Allows ethical surrogacy (i.e. altruistic surrogacy) to needy infertile couples on fulfilment of certain conditions.
  • Control unethical practices in surrogacy, prevent commercialization of surrogacy.
  • Prohibit potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy.
  • It bars foreigners, homosexual couples, people in live in relationships and single individuals to have babies through surrogacy.

Background

  • India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries. However there have been reported incidents concerning unethical practices of surrogacy across country.
  • Incidents such as exploitation of surrogate mothers, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy and rackets of intermediaries importing human gametes and embryos were also reported.
  • The 228th report of the Law Commission of India (LCI) also had recommended for banning commercial surrogacy by enacting a suitable legislation. However, it had allowed ethical altruistic surrogacy to the needy Indian citizens.

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