Solapur IVF centre destroyed embryo on widow’s instructions: Elderly couple informed in Bombay HC
The couple had approached HC seeking directions to a fertility centre to complete the surrogacy procedure initiated by their deceased son
An elderly couple from Karnataka, who had approached the Bombay high court (HC) seeking directions to a fertility centre to complete the surrogacy procedure initiated by their deceased son, was informed that the embryo has been destroyed.
The Solapur-based centre informed the court that the decision to destroy the embryo was taken after the couple’s widowed daughter-in-law withdrew her consent to the procedure. The centre told HC the embryo was destroyed on their 27-year-old daughter-in-law’s instructions.
The applicants – a 70-year-old retired principal of a government pre-university college in Kalburgi, Karnataka, and his 65-year-old wife, had approached the court after Navjeevan Fertility and IVF Centre, which had initiated the procedure for the surrogacy, said it could not go ahead with the procedure without the consent of the couple’s daughter-in-law.
The elderly couple had, during a previous hearing, assured the court that they understand that their daughter-in-law has the right to remarry and that they will take appropriate care of the child without it affecting her life.
As per the petition filed by their advocate Tejas Dande, the couple’s only son got married in 2014. Their son and his wife visited the in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) centre at Solapur, where they were advised to go for an IVF procedure and were also given the option of surrogacy. The petition added that the young couple opted for surrogacy, as both the sisters of the deceased were willing to lend their womb for their brother’s child. The IVF centre then started the surrogacy and succeeded in creating an embryo. But before it could be placed in the uterus of the surrogate, the petitioners’ son died in October 2017.
The couple said the IVF centre stopped the surrogacy after their daughter-in-law revoked her consent. They submitted that the IVF centre informed them orally that though the embryo can be used till 2021, the centre could not go ahead with the procedure in view of their son’s death and withdrawal of consent by his wife.
Dr Anjali Malpani, IVF expert and co-founder of Malpani’s IVF clinic, Fort, said the consent with respect to the embryos lies solely on the couple. “Parents don’t have any role in the decision-making. The decisions in such cases depend only on the couple. In this case, of one of them died. So the decision lies entirely on the other partner,” said Dr Malpani.