[Surrogacy Act] No Fertility Clinic Has Been Granted Registration for Assisted Reproductive Techniques Yet: Childless Couple Move Bombay HC

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The plea seeks constitution of the district medical board for processing of applications and an interim relief to proceed with alternative reproductive technique without permission of authorities under the Surrogacy Act of 2021.

A Writ Petition has been filed before the Bombay High Court by a childless couple seeking constitution of a District Medical Board as per the Surrogacy Regulation Act 2021 to process the registration of infertility clinics in Greater Mumbai.

The Division Bench of Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice Arif Doctor on Monday allowed the additional government pleader to take instructions in the plea filed by the couple.

The childless couple approached the fertility clinics after they were not able to conceive naturally. The couple has submitted before the court that various Fertility Clinics in Mumbai are planning for hiring Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART). However, it was found that no fertility clinic is granted registration yet and no surrogacy clinics have started working regularly. Therefore, the application made by the couple could not even be acknowledged by the clinic.

The plea states that despite enforcing the law in respect of surrogacy and assisted reproductive techniques, none of the fertility clinics are granted registration which is a pre-requisite for processing the surrogacy application for obtaining the 'Certificate of Essentiality' and 'Certificate of Recommendation" prescribed under the law.

The plea states that when the petitioners approached various Government hospitals including JJ Hospital to obtain a certificate of essentiality they were informed that no District Board was constituted and therefore the couple could not get the certificate of essentiality. Since there is no District Medical Board Process the petitioners are not able to even start the process of documentation which is required for getting qualified for the surrogacy process.

The plea states that prohibiting the couple from undergoing ART amounts to a violation of articles 14 and 21. The plea reads,

“That the legislation itself is introduced very recently, and the competent authorities as prescribed under the Act are yet to be constituted and effect is yet to be given to the provisions of law. Prohibiting the Petitioners to undergo the ART procedures would be against the fundamental rights enshrined under Articles 14 & 21 of the Constitution of India.”

As per the plea since there is no district medical board established by the government the petitioners has sought interim relief to proceed with Alternative Reproductive Technique without undergoing the sanctions and permissions as per the Surrogacy Act 2021.