HYDERABAD: Located in the uptown Banjara Hills, an infertility centre which allegedly rented wombs for hefty amounts, was raided by Hyderabad Police Task Force team on Saturday evening. At least 45 women, who were surrogate mothers, were confined to the two floors above Sai Kiran Infertility Centre, which did not have due permission to take up surrogacies.
The Task Force personnel said the surrogate mothers had been confined for nine months in these two floors. Food and medicines were provided to them. This might not be an isolated case as officials suspect there might be many such infertility centres in the city which are minting money by renting wombs. Task Force DCP B Limba Reddy said the infertility centre was collecting `15 to `30 lakh and giving only `3 lakh to the women, who rented their wombs. Brokers were also employed for the purpose.
In March first week, government in its affidavit in the Supreme Court stated that it does not support commercial surrogacy. Besides, it stated that surrogacy is limited to infertile couples in India and not to foreigners.Through Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill-2014, the Central government intends to strictly regulate surrogacies.
There might be crossborder connection to the alleged money spinning rent-a-womb case that was raided in the city, as a woman told the raiding team that she was from Nepal. Some of them were from Hyderabad and Delhi.
After the Task Force personnel received information, they alerted Hyderabad district medical and health officer (DMHO) Dr Padmaja about it and conducted the raids. They found that the records which are supposed to have details of the surrogate mothers, new-borns and others, were not properly maintained. The DMHO has seized the records.
“Fearing that the surrogate mothers would run away, they were confined to the hospital. The women used to be provided with `10,000 as subsistence allowance,” Limba Reddy said.
She added that that the women would be paid the remaining money after the delivery.The women will be shifted to government hospitals, said S Srinivas Rao, Task Force central zone inspector.