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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Fertility clinics stuck with embryos after new visa norms

Priyanka Vora, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 17, 2013
First Published: 01:15 IST(17/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:16 IST(17/2/2013)

With new visa norms restricting the flow of foreigners seeking surrogacy parenting in India, every major fertility clinic in the city has, on an average, around 50 embryos of people who can no longer fly into India.

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“We have patients who had frozen their embryos a year ago. We transfer these embryos into the surrogate mother and it’s not necessary that she will conceive in the first attempt. Hence we bank frozen embryos for future attempts,” said Dr Kaushal Kadam, Corion fertility clinic in Andheri.

In December clinics had received a letter from foreign regional registration office (FRRO) in Mumbai asking details of the embryos frozen with them.

“After I sent the list, I received a phone call from the FRRO office saying that I should not transfer any of these embryos,” said Dr Gautam Allahabadia, Rotunda clinic in Bandra.

“Patients are calling and writing us emails every day seeking clarity and I can only tell them to wait,” said Allahabadia whose two patients have decided to go to another country.

The confusion over the date for the new visa norms has left foreigners who have either frozen their embryos or have Indian surrogates pregnant with their child in a lurch.

Meanwhile, infertility clinics are also getting requests from foreigners to fly their frozen embryos to nearby Thailand.

“We have couples who are looking at shifting embryos to countries such as Thailand,” said Gaurav Wankhede, CEO, Become Parents adding that 90 % of foreigners seeking surrogacy in India are same sex couples.


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