With love, not gay abandon

Swedish gay couple gets twins through surrogate mom

Spanish couple Mauro (L) and Juan Carlos embrace their new born twin girls at a hospital in New Delhi.  AFP PHOTO

Rama (name changed) is all of 30 and comes from a middle-class family. The mother of two  children from her husband, she decided to ‘lend’ her womb as she was to get good money for the ‘services’. It did not matter, at least when she agreed, that the twins would be for a Spanish gay couple.

But when the time came to hand over the infants to their biological parents--Swedish  Juan Carlos and Mauro, the woman was a bit pensive as she had developed a bonding with the babies.

“But she knew well that they would not be her children and that she was only a surrogate mother. She wished the children good luck while handing over the children”, Dr Anoop Gupta, who conducted the entire medical process from artificial insemination to safe delivery of the healthy twins, told Deccan Herald.

Though the woman was not available for comments about her emotions, those present on the occasion recalled that Rama went abruptly silent and appeared a bit tensed when the time came to hand over the babies she kept in her womb for nine months. “It was an emotional scene. It is understandable. She had nurtured them for nine months and had taken care of them even after their birth. An emotional bonding had already developed.

But she knew it was bound to happen. She will require sometime to overcome the separation. In this instance, it is permanent. She might have been richer by a couple of lakhs but the emotional bonding is too strong for any mother to sever that easily”, the people, speaking on the condition of anonymity, recalled.

But, joy of the Spanish gay couple knew no bound as they had been longing to have a child. They saw their dream come true in India. The couple named their ‘loving daughters’ Jaya and Uma to retain their Indian roots.  Juan and Mauro, who married a year ago, are now proud parents of their ‘own’ twin girls delivered by Rama, thanks to the ‘in vitro fertilisation’ (IVF) process which costs far less to the couple here compared to its cost in their country. The twins were born on February 1.

“This feat is an important step towards realising the rights of the gay community because it gives hope to same sex couple to have children.”

 The Delhi IVF Fertility Research Centre, owned by Gupta, arranged for an egg donor and got someone who was ready to be the surrogate mother. When all the processes were complete, one of the gay couple gave the sperm for artificial insemination with the donor egg.

Thorough screening

Rama was selected for surrogacy after a thorough screening of several women and examination of their health conditions. The Spanish couple also approved the woman finalised for the job. The couple spent about Rs 12 lakh on the entire procedure. Of this, Rs 3.5 lakh was given to the surrogate mother for renting out her womb.

“Initially, the two were not mentally ready for family expansion when they got associated (married). Normally I feel (that) it was for the economic reasons. They knew that they could not have a child. But they started thinking about it when they got settled in life,” Gupta said.

When they came to India, they were well prepared for taking up the responsibility of their baby. Juan and Mauro underwent a nursing training between October and December last year to learn parenting before they decided to come to India to adopt a child.

“They have a true bonding of husband and wife relationship. After the birth of the babies, they appeared even more committed and responsible,” Gupta said, rejecting the apprehensions that the couple’s sexual behaviour might affect the twins’ growth.
The Spanish couple had come to India to adopt the child but after learning through the advertisement here that having their ‘own’ baby through the surrogate was also possible within the budget they had, the two decided to go for it. “They came to me asking if I could help them. I said yes,” said Guptal.

The joy of the Spanish couple was shortlived as  the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights  has issued a notice to Gupta taking cognisance of the media reports. The commission asked the fertility centre owner to explain the adoption and surrogacy procedure. “The couple is scared now because the commission has also written to the Foreigner Regional Registration Office asking the authorities not to let the two leave the country,” Gupta said.

No Laws

Dr Anoop GuptaThere are still no clear laws governing surrogacy in the country even as India is slowly becoming a hub for it. The Supreme Court legalised commercial surrogacy  in 2002.
“It’s absolutely legal. The proposed guidelines of Indian Council of Medical Research  approve this. If a couple, even from abroad, comes and gets their baby through IVF egg donation surrogacy here, there is no illegality in it. How can you stop them? Their sperms are used. They are the DNA parent of the child,” Gupta said, adding that he has explained the legal position to the commission also.

He claimed that anyone including same sex couple, even if they are foreign nationals, could consider having a baby through surrogacy in India. 

Gupta also claimed that this was not first time that any foreign couple approached his centre and went back to their country getting babies born through IVF and surrogacy.
Before this, one couple from America and another from Finland had children through IVF at his centre. ‘One lesbian couple, who are from NOIDA, is coming again for the second child. The couple had come here around five years ago,” he added.

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