SC allows surrogacy, strikes down rule banning use of donor gametes

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Source: The post is based on the article “‘SC allows surrogacy, strikes down rule banning use of donor gametes” published in “The Hindu” on 27th October 2023

Why in the News?

The Supreme Court has allowed a woman with Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) Syndrome to undergo surrogacy using a donor egg.

What was the case about?

Source: The Hindu

The woman suffers from Mayer Rokitansky Kuster Hauser syndrome.Medical records confirm her inability to produce eggs or have a uterus.

Due to this, the couple began the gestational surrogacy  process.

But the government amended the surrogacy act in 2023 which banned the use of donor gametes. It required “intending couples” to use their own gametes for surrogacy.

Against this, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court arguing that the amendment violated a woman’s right to parenthood.

The petitioner argued that the amendment contradicted Surrogacy Act, 2021 which recognised the situation when a medical condition would require a couple to opt for gestational surrogacy in order to become parents.

However, the government argued that surrogacy could only be availed if the child was “genetically related” to the intending couple.

What did the Supreme Court ruled on this?

The Supreme Court found the amendment contrary to the main provisions of the Surrogacy Act.

The court said that the Surrogacy Act recognizes medical conditions necessitating gestational surrogacy and the amendment cannot contradict this.

What is Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser(MRKH)?

DefinitionIt is a rare congenital disorder that affects the female reproductive system.This condition is characterized by an underdeveloped vagina and uterus. 
Caused byIncomplete development of the Müllerian duct.This structure in the embryo develops into the uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix and the upper part of the vagina.
PrevalenceRare, occurring in approximately 1 in 4,000 to 5,000 female births.
FertilityUsually unable to conceive and carry a pregnancy due to the absence of a uterus, but assisted reproductive technologies like surrogacy may be an option.

UPSC Syllabus Topic: Diseases

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