Delhi govt tells IVF centres to maintain records of the gender of babies born | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Delhi govt tells IVF centres to maintain records of the gender of babies born

To stop sex-selective embryo implantation among in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) patients, Delhi government has asked all clinics providing the treatment to maintain records of patients and the outcome of their pregnancies.

delhi Updated: Jan 26, 2017 17:56 IST
Anonna Dutt
Delhi government will act against IVF centres with records showing skewed sex-ratios.
Delhi government will act against IVF centres with records showing skewed sex-ratios.(For representation only)

To stop sex-selective embryo implantation among in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) patients, Delhi government has asked all clinics providing the treatment to maintain records of patients and the outcome of their pregnancies.

“This will tell us whether they practice sex selection,” said Dr Satyajit Kumar, state programme officer of pre-conception, pre-natal diagnostic techniques (PC-PNDT) cell, Delhi, which enforces the law that bans sex-selection and sex-selective abortions.

Delhi government will act against IVF centres with records showing skewed sex-ratios.

The national capital is among the states with the worst sex ratio in India, with 871 girls per 1,000 boys. India’s sex ratio is 919 per 1,000 boys, shows the 2011 Census of India data.

“It will be very difficult for us to track the outcome of the pregnancy because most women just get the treatment and leave. They don’t come back for a follow-up,” said Dr Shivani Gour, director of SCI healthcare.

Also, she said, many of them don’t want to reveal that the baby was conceived through IVF. “Asking them later may put them in a spot.” Thirty percent of the women who visit her centre are not Delhi residents, making it further difficult for the centre to track the pregnancy.

Read more: Govt launches scheme to provide free health check-ups to pregnant women

Delhi government sent the notice a month ago. All IVF centres have to record the details of people who receive treatment from the day the notice was received and track their pregnancies.

Their replies are expected in eight months or so, when the babies are born.

“We did not want to apply the rule retrospectively – that is ask the centres to provide details of births that have already happened – because most of the centres said most women came from outside Delhi and had their deliveries in their respective hometown making it difficult for the centres to keep track,” said Dr Kumar.

The government may also initiate action against IVF centres providing the treatment to women younger than 35 years with no condition affecting their conception ability.

“Until now, we focused on doctors who illegally determined the sex of the foetus, but with increased penetration of IVF in the country we have to focus on misuse of this technology as well,” said Dr Kumar.