HC seeks Centre, Delhi govt’s response on plea against notification barring use of donor gametes in surrogacy
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice on a petition against the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s recently issued notification barring the use of donor gametes for an intending couple willing to undergo surrogacy.
New Delhi, May 9,2023: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice on a petition against the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s recently issued notification barring the use of donor gametes for an intending couple willing to undergo surrogacy.
The amendment after the notification dated March 14, states that the couple undergoing surrogacy must have both gametes from the intending couple and that donor gametes are not allowed.
Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad’s division bench issued notice on the plea seeking Centre and Delhi government’s response.
The case is of a married couple, medically deemed infertile due to wife’s medical conditions, including the inability to produce viable oocytes (eggs) and the couple has been barred from opting surrogacy services as per the impugned notification.
The plea states: “The amendment virtually renders the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act, 2021 otiose and is in conflict with the stated object of that Act. The said Act eschews the concept of genetic purity of the child born out of ART Process and surrogacy,” the plea states.
According to the petitioners, the impugned notification discriminates against infertile couples solely on the basis of whether they are capable of carrying gestational pregnancy.
In addition, it claims that the modification has the potential of exposing bona fide infertile couples to criminal prosecution and leaving them vulnerable to surrogates by virtue of sections 40, 41 and 42 of the Surrogacy Act.
The plea states: “The amendment creates invidious discrimination between similarly situated persons without disclosing any intelligible criteria. The only basis for denying the Petitioners surrogacy services is their inability of one of them to produce gametes, which is otherwise a medically indicated basis for infertility among couples,” the plea reads.