The family of a deceased man has approached the Bombay High Court to allow his sister to be a surrogate mother for his child. The man’s wife, while he was still alive, had agreed to the in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedure, but after his death in 2017 has backed out, the family has stated.
Now the family has urged that the HC let them proceed with the surrogacy without the wife’s consent.
The petition, filed by the father, mother and two sisters of the deceased through their lawyer Tejesh Dande, is slated to be heard next week.
In the petition, the family has asked the court to “hold and declare” the father and mother of the deceased man entitled to utilise the embryo of their deceased son and daughter-in-law under the surrogacy process.
The petition states that the deceased was married in November 2014, but he and his wife were unable to conceive after two years of marriage, due to which they were advised to visit a fertility and IVF centre in Solapur.
On consultation with the fertility centre, the couple was advised to undergo an IVF procedure and was given the option of surrogacy.
On the advice of the doctors at the fertility centre, the couple underwent medical check-ups, the petition said, and thereafter the sperm and eggs (ova) were collected from them for the purposes of Caro Embryo Transfer.
The petition explained that Caro Embryo Transfer is a process in assisted reproduction, in which the embryo is placed into the uterus of a female (surrogate mother) “with the intent to establish pregnancy”.
The petitioners further stated that the two sisters of the deceased, both aged 39, married and mothers of two children and one child respectively, had agreed to become surrogate mothers. However, after collecting samples from the couple and after obtaining written consent from the couple and sisters, the man died in October 2017 following an illness detected earlier that year.
Despite his death, the petitioners claimed, the sisters and the wife were positive about proceeding with the surrogacy procedure but prior to the embryo implant, the wife of the deceased revoked her permission, due to which the fertility centre has so far not implanted the embryo in the womb of either sisters.
The petition further adds that the embryo stored with the IVF centre has a shelf life of 60 months, and therefore the embryo can be used till 2021.
It says that according to the IVF centre, they cannot proceed with the surrogacy request as there is no law, and the circulars of Indian Medical Association do not permit them to proceed with the request though the surrogate mothers and the embryo are ready and can be processed.
The petitioners have further said that this is their only chance to have an heir to their property, and that they have an equal right over the baby that will be born after the embryo is implanted in either of sisters.