ITM University organizes International Seminar on Surrogacy and Human Rights



ITM University organizes International Seminar on Surrogacy and Human Rights
ITM University organizes International Seminar on Surrogacy and Human Rights
The Centre for Post-Graduate Legal Studies, ITM University Law School, Gurgaon, organized the
‘International Seminar on Surrogacy and Human Rights’ on 7 November 2014. The Seminar was
inaugurated by Mr. Hans Friedrich Schodder, Deputy Chief of Mission, United Nations High
Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR).
India, these days, is becoming a popular destination for medical tourism, and the advancements in
technology have increased the demand for gestational surrogacy. At the global level, surrogacy is a
booming business despite the fact that many countries prohibit surrogacy arrangements. The market for
international surrogacy is estimated to be USD six billion annually worldwide. India alone is estimated to
hold a business of $445 million, and still the legal regulations governing the complete issue are in
darkness. Indian fertility services are known for quality and low expenditure. When we look into the
problem of surrogacy, it gives insight of certain issues like citizenship issues, transit issues, medical
issues, circumvention and conflict of laws and likewise. Adoption remains in greyscale when talking
about surrogacy.
The themes for discussion during seminar were mainly related to, national and international perspective
of surrogacy, statelessness and health standards in surrogacy as well as social impact of fertility tourism.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Guest, Mr Hans Friedrich Schodder, raised the issue of statelessness
as a probable consequence of legally unregulated Surrogacy arrangements. Prof. Prem Vrat, Pro-
Chancellor, ITMU raised the social concerns attached with the surrogate arrangement. He specially
emphasized on the social acceptance of the surrogate child and the health issues of the surrogate
mother. Prof. BS Panwar, Vice-Chancellor, ITMU brought forth the historical perspective of surrogacy
and the issues of Human Rights Violation involved in such surrogate arrangements. Prof. Sanoj Rajan,
Director SOL, ITMU delivered the vote of thanks and highlighted current importance of surrogacy in
International Law. He also mentioned that many international organizations like the Permanent Bureau
of The Hague Conference on Private International Law, Leiden University, Maastricht University are
looped in the discussions. Indeed he read a message sent by the Permanent Bureau of The Hague
Conference on Private International Law, emphasizing their interest and the importance of the seminar
organized by the University.
During the sessions, views were expressed by Ms Claire Achmad, Barrister and Solicitor, High Court of
New Zealand, and Surrogacy Law Expert and Research Scholar, University of Leiden, Netherlands relating
to International Perspective of Surrogacy. There were NGOs, doctors, eminent lawyers and distinguished
academicians who presented their views on Commercial Surrogacy. The list of speakers at the Seminar
includes Ms Pooja Yadav, a practicing advocate for Surrogacy Laws India, New Delhi; Ms Anandita, SamaResource Group of Women and Health, New Delhi; Dr Sonia Malik, IVF, Max, Gurgaon; Dr Rita Bakshi,
Green Park Infertility Clinic, New Delhi; Dr Manasi Mishra, Centre for Social Research, New Delhi; Mr
Bajrang Singh, MD of Vansh Health Care, Gurgaon. Papers were also presented by Mr Rajashekar,
Faculty, Madras University and Ms Titasha Banerjee, Faculty, ITMU. The International Seminar has
brought forth not just the probable legal issues relating to the commercial surrogacy but also the
potential solution to the problems arising at the international level. This endeavour of ITMU Law School
has explored into the perspective of the doctors, the legal academicians and the social activists dealing
with the societal and the legal implications of international commercial surrogacy.