Dr Gautam Allahbadia talks about the changing standards of IVF and surrogacy
Being a successful expert in assisted reproductive technology, Dr Gautam Allahbadia is practicing surrogacy and fertility treatments in India. He is also the vice president of the World Association of Reproductive Medicine. Dr Allahbadia has published various research papers and was appointed as the visiting faculty at the School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, Israel. His field of interest is dedicated to IVF, gestational surrogacy and embryo transfer.
Dr Gautam Allahbadia emphasizes how ART helps heterosexual and homosexual couples conceive their own child. Taking a heterosexual couple into account, he said, ““We can offer surrogacy to a heterosexual couple, to a woman who would otherwise not have achieved pregnancy or carried her pregnancy to term due to some serious or debilitating medical condition. This would include women who are born without a uterus, or have undergone a removal of uterus (hysterectomy) due to some problem with child birth or a malignancy; women who have severe arthritis, or some other medical condition which does not allow them to carry a pregnancy to term.”
Although, they ask their patients to provide a certificate from their physician, that says that they would otherwise never have got pregnant, and that, gestational surrogacy is the only way to have a baby.
Apart from these two groups, there is a third group of patients who can opt for gestational surrogacy i.e., single men.
Tracking down the history of IVF, Dr Gautam Allahbadia says, “There are always voices of protest against anything new. When IVF started in 1978, Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards were castigated. Even frontline newspapers were telling them that what they were doing was absolutely unethical, and today, 30 years down the line, IVF is considered absolutely normal. Even a school going child knows what IVF is.”
Through surrogacy they are actually helping two families and it is a decision taken by both — the husband and wife.
“They sign a contract, everything is put on paper. There is a schedule of payments which is also outlined. Nothing is hidden,” he adds.
Every country has different guidelines, like in India the surrogate mothers have to be married women above the age of 21. In Portugal, surrogacy is illegal and the child will not be recognized by the state. All of these drawbacks need to be discussed and sorted before the doctors even start with the treatment.
In India surrogacy and IVF treatments are a success and fulfil the dream of many couples to become parents. The average success rate is 50% and the success is not achieved overnight. The treatment is time and resource consuming, it keeps in mind that the parents are being guided and have a good idea of how well the process is going.