After Supreme Court (SC) issued an interim order to halt surrogacy services in Nepal, the hospitals providing surrogacy services are confused over what to do with the pregnant surrogate mothers.
Stating that the stay order of the SC doesn’t include all aspects of surrogacy issue, the hospitals said the SC needs to speak about the Indian surrogate mothers who are already pregnant and are staying in Nepal.
The Supreme Court on 25 August asked the hospitals operating surrogacy services and the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) to furnish details of the legal bases for such businesses. After the legal controversy on surrogacy, the SC said that necessary law should be formulated before the services could be resumed. However, the order does not mention anything about the pregnant surrogate mothers in Nepal.
Grande City Clinic informed that they need to have a clear instruction regarding the already pregnant surrogate mothers as they are facing problems in registering the birth of the babies of such mothers.
An OPD officer at the GCC, Prashant Subedi, said, “Following the Supreme Court order, we are facing problems registering the births of the babies born from surrogate mothers,” adding, “We are even facing difficulties in delivering the babies to the intended parents (IPs) as the SC’s ruling is silent about ongoing surrogacies.” He said that the IPs are even facing problems with travel documents for their babies.
Subedi added that the doctors at the hospitals are not ready to handle even the ongoing surrogacy cases after the MoHP asked the hospitals to stall surrogacy services.
The GCC said it currently has 150 ongoing surrogacy cases from one to nine months. And it has placed on hold another 20 Indian women who are in Nepal to be surrogate mothersl.
Hospitals like Grande City Clinic and Diagnostic Center, Grande International Hospital, Om Hospital and Venus Hospital among others were providing surrogacy services in Nepal even before formulation of relevant laws. Those hospitals were giving surrogacy services on the basis of a permission letter issued by the Personnel Administration Division (PAD), which is not the authorized department of the MoHP, to issue such letters.
The record at the Department of Immigration (DoI) shows that more than 70 surrogate babies have already been taken out of Nepal, mainly to Israel and Australia.