Ar­ti­cle in mag­a­zine led sur­ro­gacy war­rior to SC

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Bhadra Sinha bhadra.sinha@hin­dus­tan­

Lawyer Jayashree Wad knew a friend whose rel­a­tive had a sur­ro­gate child. But was un­aware that sur­ro­gacy is a huge trade in the coun­try un­til she read an ar­ti­cle in a weekly mag­a­zine in 2014.

The re­port made Wad go back to her books on bi­ol­ogy, a sub­ject she grad­u­ated in be­fore be­com­ing a lawyer. She dug out de­tails on the “flour­ish­ing busi­ness” in In­dia. Af­ter a year-long re­search, she ap­proached the Supreme Court in 2015 to high­light the pit­falls of the un­reg­u­lated in­dus­try.

“It amounts to sale of moth­er­hood,” the 78-year-old mother of two lawyer-sons said on Thurs­day. “I read about how women were ex­ploited by a hand­ful of med­i­cal ex­perts who con­trolled it (sur­ro­gacy busi­ness), which I thought should be stopped. Sur­ro­gate moms are not told about the risks.”

Hear­ing her plea, a top court bench headed by Jus­tice Ran­jan Go­goi nudged the gov­ern­ment to frame a law.

While the mat­ter was pend­ing be­fore the court and the law was yet to be drafted, the Cen­tre is­sued no­ti­fi­ca­tions that banned im­port of embryo and dis­al­lowed for­eign­ers, NRIs and Overseas Cit­i­zens of In­dia (OCI) to opt for sur­ro­gate chil­dren in In­dia.

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