Single Indian man has IVF child by surrogacy
Dr. Kirsty Horsey
Progress Educational Trust15 October 2005
An Indian man has become the country's first single man to have a child using IVF and surrogacy. Amitava Banerjee, a 45-year old accountant from Calcutta will now have to overcome a number of legal obstacles before he can be recognised as the father of the child, who he has named Arjun after a mythical Hindu warrior. Mr Banerjee, who was previously married but had no children, said that the birth of Arjun was a dream come true for him. 'A child is always an extension of the self', he said, adding 'I wanted to see myself through a baby'. He hopes to be able to adopt the baby, but lawyers say this may not be as easy as he thinks. 'The legal status of the baby should be determined by the courts as the woman who gave birth to the baby and the one who donated the ovum were not married to Mr Banerjee. So both can claim the baby, like Banerjee', said Gitanath Ganguly, a family lawyer. Until the child is adopted, Ganguly continued, he will be treated as an orphan and have a guardian appointed by the Juvenile Welfare Board. Mr Banerjee came up with the idea after a conversation with friends a year ago introduced him to the concept of surrogate motherhood. He approached Calcutta's leading fertility treatment specialist, Sudarshan Ghosh Dastidar, whose institute advertised for a woman to act as a surrogate. They sought a woman who would be willing to be implanted with an embryo created from another woman's egg and Mr Banerjee's sperm. The clinic received twenty applications and three women were chosen for clinical trials. After medical tests and interviews, one of the women was chosen to be the surrogate. Mr Dastidar said that he went ahead with the arrangement after being convinced that the motives of the surrogate were good. 'The surrogate mother was not paid to bear the child but given medicine and transport', he said, adding 'I had to make sure she was not donating her womb for money'. He continued: 'When I realised she was fulfilling a social responsibility, I went ahead with the fertilisation'.
Reproduced with permission from BioNews, an email and online sources of news, information and comment on assisted reproduction and genetics.