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Nepal's Top Court Orders Suspension of Surrogacy Services

Posted on : Date (24 / September / 2015)

KATHMANDU: Nepal's top court has ordered a halt to commercial surrogacy services in the Himalayan nation until it rules on the legality of the practice, an official said Wednesday.

Nepal has become a destination for foreigners seeking to have children through surrogate mothers. The practice is controversial, with critics saying it exploits the poverty of women.

Although Nepal has no laws on its books covering surrogacy, the government last year allowed foreign women to serve as surrogates in Nepal but barred local women.

"There are no laws regarding surrogacy... it raises many constitutional and legal questions," said Nahakul Subedi, spokesman for the Supreme Court.

"So the court issued a stay order on surrogacy services yesterday ... until the case is settled," Subedi told AFP.

Advocate Prabin Pandak, who filed the original lawsuit against the practice, told AFP the court's order would put a stop to the registration of new cases.

"Women should not be a subject of trade, neither should a child," Pandak said.

"Nepali women are not allowed to be surrogate mothers but they are misrepresented as Indian and used for surrogacy," she said.

Nepal has become an attractive destination for couples who find its services cheaper than those offered by surrogacy agencies in the west.

Israel in April airlifted 25 infants born to Indian surrogate mothers in Kathmandu after Nepal was hit by a devastating quake that killed nearly 9,000 people.

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Are Jay-Z, Beyonce expecting second baby via surrogate?

Posted on : Date (21 / July / 2015)

When surrogate mom Jessica Szalacinski told her tween son she was planning on having a baby for a male couple in New York City, he refused to speak to her for three whole days.

Confessions of a surrogate mother

Posted on : Date (21 / July / 2015)

When surrogate mom Jessica Szalacinski told her tween son she was planning on having a baby for a male couple in New York City, he refused to speak to her for three whole days.
Surrogacy Photo: Kendra Krantz

This complex process usually takes 72 day to take place in the human body.

“Kallistem is addressing a major issue whose impacts are felt worldwide: the treatment of male infertility,” Isabelle Cuoc, the CEO of Kallistem Laboratory, told the Daily Mail.

"He stormed around the house, slamming doors,” Szalacinski says of the tense atmosphere in their Nashville, Tenn., home. “Finally, my husband and I went to his room and said: ‘What exactly is it that bothers you? We really need to know.’ ”

The 12-year-old turned to his father, Eric, in disgust. “I can’t believe you are allowing her to have sex with two men!” he exclaimed.

SurrogacyHer son came around to the idea after she explained “just how antiseptic the whole process is.” He signed off on his mother’s two surrogate pregnancies in 2009 and 2011 (resulting in a baby girl, then a boy) and is supporting her decision to do it in the future.

The 36-year-old language teacher is one of a small but growing percentage of women agreeing to “rent” their wombs to gay and infertile couples who want kids of their own. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 1,898 babies were born via gestational surrogate in the United States in 2012, more than double the number in 2004. Unlike so-called traditional surrogacy arrangements, gestational carriers have no genetic link to the child because the eggs are provided by another woman, usually an anonymous donor.

Jimmy Fallon and wife Nancy welcomed daughter Winnie Rose via surrogacy last July, after the couple experienced infertility for five years. Photo: GSNY / Splash News

Last week, “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon was on the cover of People, beaming over his and his wife Nancy’s daughter, Winnie Rose, born via surrogacy last July.

The issue is a hot topic here in New York, where commercial surrogacy remains illegal. State Sen. Brad Hoylman — himself a gay dad who hired a woman in California to give birth to his daughter, Silvia, now 3 — is co-sponsoring legislation to reverse the ban. His bill is supported by fertility clinics, the gay community and infertility advocacy groups, but is opposed by some religious leaders, human rights lawyers and feminists.

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Sperm Grown in a Lab for the First Time

Posted on : Date (13 / May / 2015)

In a breakthrough that could lead to a treatment for thousands of infertile men, scientists have grown human sperm cells in a laboratory for the first time.

The Kallistem laboratory, a private research facility based in Lyon, France, has turned spermatogonia into mature sperm in test tubes. This is a feat that scientists have been trying to tackle for the past 15 years.


This complex process usually takes 72 day to take place in the human body.

“Kallistem is addressing a major issue whose impacts are felt worldwide: the treatment of male infertility,” Isabelle Cuoc, the CEO of Kallistem Laboratory, told the Daily Mail.

“Our team is the first in the world to have developed the technology required to obtain fully formed spermatozoa in vitro with sufficient yield for IVF,” Cuoc added.

The findings have not yet been published in a peer-review journal, but Kallistem plans to conduct pre-clinical trials next year.

If these trials are successful, the company will remove a sample of immature spermatogonia from a man and transform the genetic material into mature sperm. Then, an IVF procedure will be used, or the sperm may be frozen for later use.

This research paves the way for future treatments that may preserve and restore male fertility – which impacts an estimated 50,000 men each year.

The overall market for this technology, Kallistem predicts, would be worth more than $2.58 billion.

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Fertility doctor has baby via surrogate

Posted on : Date (7 / May / 2015)

Dr. Angie Beltsos and her husband welcomed their fourth child Beatrice who was delivered via a surrogate in February

Countryfile presenter Julia Bradbury has told of her "heartache" after undergoing five failed rounds of IVF before finally giving birth to twins at 44.


When reproductive endocrinology and infertility doctor Dr. Angie Beltsos learned she could not carry the fourth baby she longed for, she found herself in a similar situation as the patients she treats at the Fertility Centers of Illinois, in the Chicago area.

A mother of three, Beltsos had tried for several years to have another baby. When she finally did become pregnant again, complications led to the baby being born prematurely and ultimately not surviving.

"I had delivered many babies at different ages and witnessed couples go through terrible moments. It provides an element of perspective and compassion and pain to go through it yourself, so after that was a very difficult time for us," Beltsos shared with CBS News.

Beltsos says the tragedy left a void in her life that her family urged her to fill. When she had trouble conceiving naturally, Beltsos tried in vitro fertilization (IVF), a process in which her eggs were harvested from her body and then fertilized with her husband's sperm in a laboratory, creating an embryo. IVF is a popular procedure for couples struggling with infertility.

With more people delaying marriage or starting families later in life, infertility can be a problem for many couples. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that about 12 percent of women aged 15 to 44 in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term. Men as well as women can suffer from a variety of infertility problems, and a woman's age may interfere with her ability to have a successful pregnancy.

"When you hit your 40s, the ability to make an egg that can make a healthy baby starts to go down. And thank goodness I had captured some ahead of time before the clock ran out of time for me to be able to conceive naturally," said Beltsos.

However, multiple miscarriages later, Beltsos recognized that even with IVF she would not be able to carry a baby to term herself. Still, she remained undeterred. With a compelling desire to complete her family and a few embryos remaining, Beltsos and her husband finally decided to use a gestational surrogate -- a woman who would have Beltsos' fully fertilized embryo implanted into her uterus and would then carry and deliver the baby.

Beltsos' colleague and friend at Lotus Blossom Consulting helped her find the perfect match.

"This unique thing of using a surrogate was sort of a blend. It's a professional relationship and one that's personal," said Beltsos.

On the professional side, paying a woman to carry a couple's baby is a rapidly growing business around the world. In the United States, a surrogate can make tens of thousands of dollars while the couple paying for the surrogacy may end up shelling out upwards of $100,000. In addition to paying the surrogate, the couple is responsible for the surrogate's medical care and expenses as well as the agency's fees. Commercial surrogacy is highly regulated in the United States to protect the rights of the surrogate, the intended parents and the baby.

Though less expensive, the process can be more complicated in other countries. Hopeful would-be parents without the funds to pay U.S. prices for surrogacy can go through countries like India, Thailand and Ukraine. This is risky, however, as surrogacy in these countries is a largely unregulated business, which comes with its own moral, medical and legal costs and complications.

"There are different countries that are becoming very popular because they are not very expensive, but one must be very careful in those situations if you are going to do it, that you investigate very carefully the medical care. You will not find equivalent therapies to the United States," Beltsos cautions.

Another complicating factor for parents-to-be using international surrogates: they may have trouble bringing their baby home as documents and birth certificates from other countries may not be accepted.

On a personal note, Beltsos wanted to find a surrogate who shared her similar health habits and values. As a doctor, Beltsos was also uniquely qualified to manage the pregnancy, but worked hard to surrender control and develop trust in her surrogate to make good decisions.

"You have to find a surrogate that's like-minded with you as a woman as a mom, that she would do things that you would do. She would ask my advice and I would offer these things. I tried not to micromanage her or the doctor taking care of her."

Beltsos' patience paid off. The surrogate carried a healthy baby girl to term and delivered Beatrice in February 2015. Beltsos was there for the birth and was ecstatic to finally hold her new daughter in her arms.

"It was a magical experience to be able to have our fourth baby and for her to be healthy and to go through this to have our family," she said.

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I still pinch myself and think, 'I'm a mother', says Countryfile presenter Julia Bradbury

Posted on : Date (28 / April / 2015)

Broadcaster, who gave birth to twins at the age of 44, tells of heartache going through five rounds of IVF

Countryfile presenter Julia Bradbury has told of her "heartache" after undergoing five failed rounds of IVF before finally giving birth to twins at 44.

The broadcaster, who already has a three-year-old son Zephyr with partner Gerard Cunningham, had the girls, named Xanthe and Zena, earlier this month.


She told Hello! Magazine: "It's my dream come true and I feel incredibly lucky.

Julia Bradbury: Mother’s Day has a special meaning

"I still pinch myself and think, 'I'm a mother of three.' All the effort, everything we went through as a family, is more than worth it.

"I had been very happy throughout the pregnancy but there was always this cautionary shadow on my shoulder that something could go wrong.

"You don't take anything for granted - the five rounds of IVF, the heartaches and failures along the way and making it through the pregnancy. So the moment I felt the deepest joy was when they were both on my chest and I thought, 'They've made it."'

I wish I'd had children 10 years earlier, says TV presenter Julia Bradbury

She said she is ready to "step up" to the challenge of having two new babies, saying: "There's the challenge of taking care of them at the same time, the physical demands, but I don't think the concentration required for being a parent to twins is any different.

"I just have to be the best parent I can to all three of them, love them all the same, make sure they all feel that equal amount of attention. You can never imagine being able to love a child more than you do but you do. There's this bottomless pit."

Read the full interview in the latest issue of Hello!.

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Posted on : Date (21 / April / 2015)

Sam Everingham looks at changes in surrogacy over the last year and how this will be reflected in the organisation’s Sydney conference next month.

THE last five years has seen a significant increase in gay Australian men creating families through surrogacy. Despite negative press surrounding a handful of surrogacy Once restricted to fairly expensive USA options, recent years have seen many working with surrogates in Australia, India, Thailand, and more recently Nepal and Mexico.

Last year, the Baby Gammy scandal shone the media spotlight on overseas surrogacy. Thai authorities were furious that compensated surrogacy had thrived under their watch, not just because it went against medical council guidelines but Thai cultural norms.

Gay Men Surrogacy

To those gay intended parents caught up in the confusion, the year was stressful, but emphasised the importance of education, communication and connection. Certainly one outcome has been greater enthusiasm amongst intended parents to locate a surrogate at home.

Families Through Surrogacy’s annual Australian conference on May 16-17 in Sydney will help scores of intended gay dads from around the country work through many of these changes. For the first time, there will be sessions from parents and providers regarding not only local options but the US, Nepal and Mexico.

Amongst the 32 sessions, highlights include practical, panels of surrogates on how to successfully match with a surrogate; talks from parents and older children born through surrogacy. This year will have increased focus on Australian & US options.

One gay Sydneysider talking, Clinton Bryan-Mathieson had always wanted a family. Clinton and his partner Callum are in their early thirties. For Clinton, the deal-breaker question when they started dating in 2010 was kids. He tackled it head on: “I want a family. Do you?” Callum had met someone pretty special and he was on the same page.

Clinton’s sister Rhiannon had been offering to carry for her brother since he was 20. By now she had three kids of her own and the offer was still there. However she had separated from her own husband 18 months earlier and was living near Melbourne. The boys were in Sydney.

To ensure legal parentage of their son or daughter, the boys knew they needed to go by the book. This meant investment in legal and psychological counselling for not only Rhiannon and themselves, but her ex-partner also. As well, they’d need to find an egg donor and stump up for Rhiannon’s IVF costs (surrogacy doesn’t attract a Medicare rebate). Even if successful first time, there would little change from $60,000.

Beyond cost, the biggest hurdle was locating an egg donor. They discovered a donor forum, but donors need to pick you, not vice versa. After months of no success, they almost walked away, until a forum moderator explained how to engage in the forums so donors noticed them.

“You are meant to make your story as personal as possible” Clinton says.

“You need to engage in other people’s posts as well, so readers see your personality.”

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Paid Surrogacy Will Work Here If We Do It With Care

Posted on : Date (17 / April / 2015)

Parents going through surrogacy, donor conception and even something as basic as IVF sometimes lose sight that they’re going to end up with an actual child, not just a baby.

WITH the news this week of another Australian couple abandoning a baby overseas, it’s time to talk seriously about surrogacy and law reform.

This latest case, uncovered by the ABC, is reminiscent of last year’s high-profile Baby Gammy case, but has some key differences: this abandonment happened in 2012, the baby boy was healthy and it was arranged for him to be adopted out to another family, rather than leaving the, presumably impoverished, surrogate holding the baby.

But what both these stories have in common is that the commissioning parents spent a lot of money and effort to buy children, without considering or caring about what would happen if something went wrong. In this case, the family abandoned the boy and only took the girl because they said they couldn’t afford a second child, which, considering the family could afford commercial surrogacy, raises some red flags.

In 1988, before I grew up and became a person, I was known as Baby Alice. Children in the media can get the moniker of “Baby First Name” because of something very good, or something very bad. Luckily, I was “Baby Alice” for a good reason: I had parents who wanted a child so much, and have such a supportive family, that I became Australia’s first IVF surrogate child and the second in the world.

Even in those early days, my parents thought through every contingency. As is often the case, two embryos were transferred, so they had to consider what they’d do if there were two of me, or what if one or both of us was severely disabled. They decided that they would love and care for their children no matter how many, how healthy or unbearably awesome they happened to be.

They also worked out that even if my aunt Linda (my intensive babysitter/surrogate) discovered she couldn’t give up the baby, that they would simply dote on their new niece and swallow their disappointment.

Linda wasn’t paid to have me; she was in it for the adventure, another experience of childbirth and to gain a fairly fantastic niece.

For a long time, I thought that altruistic surrogacy was the only way to go, but my stance has evolved. If you don’t treat the child you commissioned as a commodity, but instead as a child that you love, and you’re open and honest about the entire process from the beginning, there is no reason for that child to be adversely affected by their origin.

And, frankly, it’s unfair that the women who are risking the most in this situation aren’t allowed to be compensated in Victoria for their potentially life-threatening act of generosity.

Australia needs to catch up with the rest of the world and introduce national surrogacy laws that allow for commercial surrogacy in a safe, regulated environment. It needs to happen soon, but since there wasn’t a legal framework for surrogacy in Victoria until I was 20, I won’t hold my breath.

More than that, though, we need to talk about how parents going through surrogacy, donor conception and even something as basic as IVF sometimes lose sight of the fact they’re going to end up with an actual child, not just a baby. Those processes take years and so often I see the parents’ dream of a baby start to twist, just slightly. It makes sense: the process is long and thinking about there being a real person at the end of it, one who will probably live with them for the next 30 years, can be too much, too many dreams to deal with all at once, all the time.

So before anyone embarks on this journey, they need to keep some things in mind: why do they want a baby? Can they handle raising a disabled child?

If they can’t handle having a disabled child, are they and their surrogate OK with aborting the foetus? Are they prepared for the scenario of multiple births? And are they willing to tell their child the whole story of their origin early, often and with pride?

People trying to have a child the regular way should probably think those things through, too, though they really shouldn’t tell their kids about their origin too often: that would be gross.

Surrogacy can be a beautiful, generous thing, but only if we do it mindfully.

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New Hope for Men Suffering from Infertility or Low Sperm Count, Low Sperm Motility and Low Sperm Morphology

Posted on : Date (26 / March / 2015)

New research compiled by Dr. Mark Merriman from Emerald Bay Labs LLC.

New research compiled by Dr. Mark Merriman from Emerald Bay Labs LLC. shows that the Baby ASAP supplement contains key ingredients that have been proven in clinical research to improve the sperm count in men who have low sperm count, low sperm motility and low sperm morphology. Baby ASAP is now available and provides hope to hundreds and thousands of men and couples who suffer from infertility.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, over 40 percent of infertility cases are the result of male fertility issues such as low sperm count. These issues prevent the male from producing the quantity and quality of sperm needed to fertilize an egg and results in the inability to have a child.

Until recently, the only options available for men with infertility issues were expensive procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), painful surgery, or abandoning hope of having a baby of their own and opting for adoption or the use of donor sperm.

Advances in nutritional research show that men with fertility problems now have another solution they can try before opting for the expensive and painful procedures. Dr. Mark Merriman, Chief science officer, Emerald Bay Labs LLC. says: “The research is clear. We have identified several ingredients that show great promise when it comes to improving men’s sperm count and reversing infertility.” These ingredients were compounded to form a new product called Baby ASAP.

Baby ASAP was formulated by Dr. Mark Merriman, an MD with expertise in toxicology and nutrition to address the needs of men who want to opt for a less invasive solution and try a nutritional option to improve their fertility. Baby ASAP is made in the USA, is GNP Certified, and is vegan friendly and GMO free.

Baby ASAP For Men contains the follwoing ingredients:

Vitamin C, Vitamin E (tocopherols), Vitamin B6 (as Peroxide HCI), Folic Acid, B12 (Methylcobalamin), Magnesium Citrate, Zinc (as Zinc Picolinate), Selenium (as L-Selenomethionine),Co-Q10,Di-indole Methane (DIM),R Lipoic Acid,Lycopene

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Madonna Defends IVF And Surrogacy, Says 'God Has A Hand' In Technology

Posted on : Date (23 / March / 2015)

Pop icon Madonna confirms return to Australia on August 2016, nearly a quarter of a century since her last visit, as part of her "Rebel Heart" world tour, Billboard reports. 

Madonna performs her song "Open Your Heart" during the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Same Love" performance at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California January 26, 2014.

Madonna joins in the furor that designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s comments with regard gay parenting and IVF babies. Formerly the face of the Dolce and Gabbana, or D&G, many people have been waiting to see which side the pop icon would choose.

While Madonna did not say she would boycott the brand, which is the course of action incited by Elton John when he got riled up over the designers’ comments, Madonna took to her Instagram to share her two cents on the issue of IVF. It appeared from her post that the pop icon disagrees with the majority of what the designers said on the topic and even pushed forward a new angle to the debate – God.

According to Madonna, all babies, however created, have souls and therefore should not be called synthetic. She said that people cannot dismiss IVF and surrogacy because these technologies and modern processes lead to babies “coming to this earth and their families.” She added that all souls are here to teach a lesson. She also said that God is in control of all things, “even technology.” She claimed people are “arrogant to think Man does anything on his own.” She cautioned people to think first before they speak. She added her famous hastag #liveforlove. One of the songs in her new album “Rebel Heart” is “Living for Love” so she might have derived her inspiration from the song.

Dolce and Gabbana’s comments on IVF babies, calling them synthetic caused public outrage and debate. After Elton John called for boycott of the designers’ products, some celebrities followed suit and called for the same. The fashion industry’s major publication firms also claimed that the statements made alienated majority of the D&G’s client base. Apart from the LGBT community, straight couples who have problems procreating have looked into IVF processes to have their kids. There were also many politicians who stood by the designers’ comments, labeling John a “gay Taliban” for being intolerant of views different from his. For their part, the designers have already explained that their views were personal and were not made to judge others’ decisions.

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This Woman Is Pregnant With Her Eleventh Surrogate Baby

Posted on : Date (18 / March / 2015)

Karla Kirby had her first two children when she was a young teenager, and even though they were unplanned, she instantly loved motherhood. 

"It had been so easy for me to get pregnant and give birth, but what about the women who weren't so lucky?" she said to The Mirror. "The desperation those couples must feel was unimaginable. I had to help them."

It didn't take long for her to contact Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy (COTS), and get set up with a couple. In order to detach herself from the baby she would be carrying, Karla said that from the start, she defined herself as carrier, not the mother.

She got pregnant with her first surrogate baby in 2001 for Carol and Michael, a couple who badly wanted children, but Carol was infertile. When the time came to hand the baby over to his parents-to-be, Karla was happy to. "When I gave birth to a baby boy, Ethan, seeing the emotion on Carol's face confirmed I'd done the right thing. I held him first, as Carol and Michael didn't make it to the hospital in time for the birth, but handing him over wasn't heartbreaking, just rewarding. He was never mine to start with."

A year and a half later she was pregnant for another couple, and ended up having two daughters for them, just one year apart. And there was no stopping Karla: She gave birth in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, and lastly, in 2014. Believe it or not, each birth was natural. Although, she says she might be giving birth to her current baby through C-section because it has a low-lying placenta.

Karla has kept in contact with some of the children, two of them even took part in her wedding to her partner, Taz. Her sons completely accept the role she takes on for other families and haven't asked to meet their half siblings.

At 38 years old, 29 weeks pregnant with her 11th surrogate child, with two sons of her own and being the stepmother to Taz's daughter, she's thinking her surrogacy retirement may be around the corner. "But the truth is, I'm just not ready to stop. What I do helps to make people's dreams come true. You just can't put a price on that."

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Elton John: boycott Dolce & Gabbana over 'synthetic' IVF babies comment

Posted on : Date (16 / March / 2015)

Elton John has called for a boycott of fashion brand Dolce and Gabbana after he said the designers labelled children born through IVF “synthetic”. 

The singer and songwriter, 67, who has two children with his husband, David Furnish, angrily rebuked the Italian designers for criticising same-sex families and the use of fertility treatment.

Business partners Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who were once a couple, have previously voiced their rejection of same-sex marriage, but in an interview with an Italian magazine this weekend they extended their objection to include same-sex families.

In an Instagram post on Sunday morning, John said: “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as‘synthetic’.

“And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children.

“Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana.”

The Czech-American former tennis star Martina Navratilova, who married her girlfriend in December, tweeted in support: “Wow – I had no idea. It will be interesting to see if this ridiculousness hurts them in the bank. BoycottDolceGabbana.”

In an interview in 2006, Gabbana revealed that he had approached a woman to be the mother of his baby but made it clear that he struggled with the idea of a same-sex family.

“I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents,” he said. “A child needs a mother and a father. I could not imagine my childhood without my mother. I also believe that it is cruel to take a baby away from its mother.”

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Kim Kardashian Considering Surrogacy?

Posted on : Date (11 / March / 2015)

KUWTK' Star 'Depressed' She Can't Get Pregnant Even After Seven Months Of Trying. 

Kim Kardashian has been eager to give daughter North West a younger sibling but the reality star still hasn't gotten her wish. And the possibility of not being able to get pregnant for a second time is reportedly making the 34-year-old "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star depressed, according to Hollywood Life.

Apparently, Kardashian is having a tough time as she and husband Kanye West, 36, continue to struggle to conceive naturally. However, he's always there to offer words of support and a shoulder to cry on.

"Kim gets caught up in moments of depression," a source told the tabloid. “When she does, Kanye’s always right there to comfort her and tell her that it’s all right."

According to the source, West makes sure to reassure his wife that she is "not the problem" and that "everything is fine."

"He always promises her that they will have another baby no matter what," the source continued.

Rumors of Kardashian's struggle with getting pregnant comes just days after she revealed that she and West have been "having sex 500 times a day" in a preview of an upcoming episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," Metro UK reported.

A previous report by Star Magazine has even speculated that Kardashian is considering a surrogate if she fails to conceive for the second time. "Kim and Kanye have been trying to conceive a baby brother or sister for little North for at least seven months," an insider told the tabloid. “If Kanye’s out of town, she will fly to wherever he is when she is ovulating so they can sleep together."

West also opened up about their efforts to conceive a second child in a recent interview with BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe.

"Oh, I’m practicing really hard. I try as many times a day as I can," he said. "Nori, this one is for you. You need a sibling."

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IVF Test Improves Chances Of Implantation By Pinpointing Fertility Window

Posted on : Date (11 / March / 2015)

Thousands of infertile couples could benefit from a new test that tailors the timing of IVF treatment to a woman’s individual cycle for the first time. 

The scientists behind the technique believe that IVF frequently fails because the embryo is transferred at the wrong time, missing a crucial fertility window.

The new test assesses the activity of genes of the womb lining to pinpoint a woman’s optimum time for treatment and in pilot studies the personalised approach appeared to significantly boost success rates.

Prof Juan Garcia-Velasco, of the IVI fertility clinic in Madrid, said: “We think that about 15% of cases of implantation failure are simply due to bad timing.” Prof Garcia-Velasco is now leading a clinical trial of the test, involving 2,500 patients in more than ten countries, including Britain.

Geeta Nargund, medical director of Create Fertility whose London clinic is participating, said: “The weakest link in IVF is implantation failure. I believe this is a breakthrough.”

There are more than 60,000 IVF cycles in Britain each year, but just 24% of these treatments lead to live births. Clinics currently check the visual appearance of the womb lining using ultrasound, giving a general indication of health.

“What we have never known is the right window of implantation,” said Nargund. “If you miss that window, no matter how beautiful the embryo, it’s not going to implant.”

For most women there is a two to four day stretch when the lining, or endometrium, sends out crucial chemical signals that allow the embryo to attach. For some women the fertile window is shifted earlier or later in the cycle or is unusually brief, however.


In the new test, a biopsy of the endometrium is taken and the gene activity is analysed. As the cells enter the receptive phase a series of genes switch on and off in a reliable sequence that scientists can read like a clock.

“I think it will make a significant difference in the expectations of couples and how we can explain failures,” said Garcia-Velasco. “Until now, the endometrium was kind of a black box. Now we can say this was the problem and this is what we can do about it.”

In a pilot study, the test was given to 85 women who had each experienced on average five rounds of IVF that had failed at the implantation stage. In these women, the fertile window was more likely to be shifted early or late, in some cases completely missing the day when the embryo is transferred in standard IVF protocols, the study found.

When the gene analysis was used as a guide, 33% of those treated had a successful implantation – considerably higher than would typically be seen for such a group, Garcia-Velasco said. “This is probably the most difficult population in IVF. Some of them benefit just by changing the day,” he said.

In the international trial, the test will be offered to women who have had two or more previous instances of implantation failure.

Nick Macklon, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Southampton, estimates that issues linked to the womb lining explain around two-thirds of cases of recurrent implantation failure, with around one-third of cases being due to embryo abnormalities.

“We really need these tests to better diagnose why a cycle hasn’t worked,” he said. “That’s something that frustrates doctors and patients alike. We know embryos can be perfect and still they don’t implant.”

He believes that the failure to address issues linked to the womb lining explains why IVF success rates have plateaued in the past decade.

“Doing these tests could significantly improve success rates,” he said.

Ultimately, the IVI team are aiming to develop a less invasive version of the test, based on sampling endometrial fluid, that could be used at the time of treatment. The current assessment is done at least one month before the embryo transfer because the act of disturbing the womb lining itself interferes with implantation.

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Sir Elton John Marries Partner David Furnish In Ceremony At Their Home

Posted on : Date (27 / Dec / 2014)

British singer Sir Elton John has married his long-term partner David Furnish following the introduction of gay marriage laws in the United Kingdom earlier this year. 
Sir Elton, one of Britain's most prominent musicians and gay celebrities, announced the wedding by posting an invitation on Instagram.
"Sir Elton John and David Furnish request the pleasure of your company to celebrate their wedding on Sunday the 21st of December," said the invitation, printed against a rose-filled background.
Sir Elton and Furnish later posted pictures from the wedding, including the exchange of vows and the menu, which featured beef short rib, caramelised onion pie, and wedding cake.
The couple wed at their home in Windsor, about 40 kilometres west of London, nine years after entering a civil partnership.
Guests included former footballer David Beckham, his wife Victoria and their children.
Actress Elizabeth Hurley also said on social media that she was attending.
The couple's two young sons, born by a surrogacy arrangement, also attended.
Gay marriage became legal in England and Wales in March and arrangements allowing the conversion of a civil partnership into marriage came into effect earlier this month.
England and Wales are among more than a dozen countries to legalise same-sex marriage, which this month has also entered into effect in Scotland.

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Keith Urban And Nicole Kidman Expecting Twins Via Surrogacy? Rumors Are Labeled ‘Ridiculous’

Posted on : Date (21 / Dec / 2014)

Internet reports flashed around the globe that country superstar Keith Urban and his Oscar-winning wife Nicole Kidman are expecting twins via surrogacy.  
A recent report had claimed that the actress rushed to Nashville, a week after her father Antony Kidman's death, to be with her unborn children's mother. Now, one of Kidman's close family friends has stepped up to address the reports.
The friend has emphatically labeled the online claims as "ridiculous" and "nonsense," according to the Daily Mail.
The reports about surrogate twins seemed to have been sparked when Kidman said in her interview that she still dreams of having more children.
Shah says that the procedure allows women to be choosier about their partners. “Isn’t it better than rushing into a marriage?” she asks. “All these women really want to have a baby. Of course, it would be best if they had it naturally. But this option gives them choice. It’s just like contraception,” she says.
"I hope every month that I'm pregnant, but I never am. I would be jumping for joy if it happens," she said to KIIS, as quoted by Us Weekly.
Kidman readily acknowledged that she is crazy about babies, calling them "extraordinary." She also said that she may be up for more babies, but she admitted that Urban won't be "jumping with joy" if she gets pregnant again, according to the International Business Times.
Urban and Kidman are parents to two daughters, Sunday Rose Kidman Urban and Faith Margaret Kidman Urban. Her second daughter Faith was born via surrogacy. The duo did not announce her birth for several weeks. They reportedly wanted to keep the news to themselves.
The acclaimed actress had told E! News that she was so excited about Faith's arrival that she wanted to share the joy only with her husband. She also wanted to protect Faith from any kind of media scrutiny.
Kidman has two children, Isabella Jane Cruise and Connor Cruise from her previous marriage to Tom Cruise. She and Cruise were married from 1990 to 2001.



Posted on : Date (10 / Nov / 2014)

Doctors say egg banking to delay motherhood is being viewed as a viable option by some urban Indian women. However, the procedure is definitely not as easy as popping a pill. 
Six months ago, Hyderabad based businessman Aman Verma and his banker wife Shikha (names changed on request) decided that they needed a different kind of ‘insurance’. Shikha, who is in her mid thirties, says her job requires her to travel frequently. Aman, who is a few years younger, says both he and his wife are “too busy” to consider starting a family just yet. “But I had heard about fertility problems later in life. So we went on the Internet to search for alternatives, and found the idea of freezing my wife’s eggs a good one,” he says.
Freezing Shikha’s eggs could mean that, in a few years, when the Vermas are ready — and if they are unable to have a child naturally — they could turn to her frozen eggs stored at the infertility centre in Hyderabad, get them thawed, and after the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, implant the embryo in Shikha’s womb. Her chances of getting pregnant through this method would depend on several factors including the quality of her eggs at the time of banking. Typically, it takes one or two cycles of extraction to get a good number of eggs from a woman’s body. The Vermas are aware that the success rate of IVF is about 25 to 30 per cent per cycle. “It would be best to have a baby the natural way. But if we can’t, with egg freezing, we would at least have an option,” says Shikha, who is keen to wait another five years before planning a child.
Dr Samit Sekhar, executive director of Kiran Infertility Centre, says eggs belonging to 17 other women are stored in the clinic’s egg bank. The first woman to get the procedure done at the clinic two years ago was a 29-year-old airline professional, who believed her job wouldn’t allow her to have a baby just yet. The option of freezing her eggs, she felt, allowed her to consider postponing motherhood for a few more years. Other doctors like Dr Duru Shah from Mumbai describe egg freezing or oocyte cryopreservation as an “empowering” alternative for women whose career aspirations take precedence over having a baby, or, for those who believe they haven’t found the “right partner” yet. Egg freezing provides a “safety net” to these women, she says.
Shah says that the procedure allows women to be choosier about their partners. “Isn’t it better than rushing into a marriage?” she asks. “All these women really want to have a baby. Of course, it would be best if they had it naturally. But this option gives them choice. It’s just like contraception,” she says.
Recently, in a bid to attract more women employees, Facebook and Apple announced a host of benefits, including the offer to freeze eggs. Since then, the subject has been hotly debated in the media, on blogs, and at workplaces. While many — not all of them social and religious conservatives — view this, like surrogacy, as a tricky ethical issue that could have unforeseen repurcussions, and as yet another indication of mankind’s Icarus-like attempts to overreach itself, there are those who believe it is a great stride forward. Advocates of egg freezing believe the procedure will bring about an attitudinal, even a social paradigm shift comparable to the one affected by the pill 55 years ago. Ironically, one of the doctors on the team that developed the pill was trying to treat infertility. The pill gave women greater reproductive autonomy, allowed them to plan their families, participate more fully in the work force, and thereby improve living standards of their families. Advocates of egg freezing believe the procedure could cause as monumental a change. “This is like reproductive insurance, and we have to respect the choices that women make,” says Dr Aniruddha Malpani of Dr Malpani Infertility Clinic in Mumbai.
But like all contemporary hot button issues that force individuals to confront their changing sexual and reproductive roles, there are as many pros as there are cons. While some women, conscious of the documented negative effects on careers of motherhood breaks, might want to ‘have it all’ by freezing their eggs, the procedure is an even greater boon for cancer patients whose eggs are destroyed by radiation therapy. Contrary to general belief, however, egg freezing is not as simple as popping a pill. To begin with, it is a medically invasive process, and extraction costs amount to about ` 1 lakh, with an additional storage cost of about ` 40,000.
While sperm freezing has been around for several decades, egg freezing is a recent phenomenon. According to Rene Almeling, author of Sex Cells: The Medical Market for Eggs and Sperms (2011), human sperm banks were established in Los Angeles in the 1950s, though commercial sperm banks with donated sperm didn’t open until the 1970s. In an email interview with this reporter, Almeling explained that the demand for frozen sperm (though it does not work as well as fresh sperm) increased after the AIDS crisis of the mid-1980s, when physicians were encouraged by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to begin using frozen sperm. “Eggs have a higher water content than sperm so it took much longer to figure out how to successfully freeze and thaw eggs.”
Almeling, assistant professor of sociology, Yale University, sounds a note of caution that those considering postponing motherhood should perhaps heed. “Egg freezing still has very high failure rates, and so the ASRM considered it an experimental procedure until 2012, and still does not recommend it for delaying motherhood,” she says.
This view is reinforced by the ASRM website, where a 2013 document on egg freezing states that “data on safety, efficacy, cost-effectiveness and emotional risks of elective cryo preservation is insufficient to recommend” the procedure for those who wish to bank their eggs in the absence of a medical condition. While stating that the technique is no longer experimental and may be used to simplify egg donation, the document also states that “marketing this technology to defer childbearing may give women false hope and encourage delay in child bearing”.
Despite that, however, in the US, the procedure is being promoted aggressively by egg banks, who organize egg-freezing-themed cocktail parties, where women come to, literally, “chill” over drinks.
In India, doctors claim that egg banking to have biological children at a later date is restricted to a minority and that only about two of the women who enquire about the procedure actually opt for it. Most of these are urban professionals in their mid-to-late 30s who haven’t yet found someone with whom they’d like to have a family. Mumbai-based Dr Nandita Palshetkar recalls the case of a 40-year-old who hoped to have a baby at 48. Palshetkar says she doesn’t encourage that much delay as, “with eggs, the younger the woman, the better the egg quality.” “The 40-year-old woman’s ovarian reserves were good so I went ahead with the procedure. But usually it’s best if they come in their early 30s,” she says. Shah wishes women came to her earlier. “Many Indian women from the US come to me after they are 35. In the US, menopause sets in later, while in Indian women, it sets in earlier. They need to be in their early thirties, or even under 30, for their eggs to be of good quality.”
Timing is key. Ensuring that the eggs are banked at the “right” time means women have to worry about the health of their ovarian reserves. The right time can be arrived at by measuring fertility through anti-mullerian hormone levels in a woman’s blood.
Better egg quality means chances of a successful pregnancy later are also higher as, in vitrification (see graphic), most eggs (doctors may extract upto 20 eggs) will survive. “The survival rate of eggs is about 70-80 per cent. How many will turn into an embryo will depend on the egg quality. People come with high expectations and need to be counselled on that too,” says Dr Nalini Mahajan of Nova IVI fertility clinic in Delhi. Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, believes the complications of the IVF procedure are underrated. In a comment piece in this paper earlier this week, Vardhan stressed on the “physical and psychological trauma” that women who go for Assisted Reproductive Technologies face as the process is “unpredictable and repetitive”.
Delhi-based communications professional Shruti Raina (name changed on request), 35, who had a baby last year (after three IVF cycles in a year), says that even though she considers the treatment “a boon” for infertile couples, the journey was tough. The process of extracting eggs took about four weeks and required her to self-inject hormones at precise times. “If the time given is 4.09 pm, then it had better be done right then! I remember I was once busy at work and my husband had to travel to my office with the injections in a freezer box just so that I could inject myself on time!” says Raina, who succeeded in getting pregnant in the third IVF cycle. “It was very unsettling. I couldn’t enjoy my pregnancy like other women do because I was told that IVF pregnancies are more complicated. Those who are freezing their eggs need to factor in the financial and emotional costs that come with IVF,” she says.
Despite the fine print, however, the procedure is generating some interest among urban Indians. But to see this as a “woman’s issue” would be reductive. In the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, Dr Imrana Qadeer, retired professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, writes that though male infertility is about 40-50 per cent of the total infertility in the country, the burden of infertility falls on the woman, who ends up undergoing invasive procedures. This situation could be exacerbated by egg freezing. “The point is, do we want women to undergo medical procedures so that they can work longer hours, or do we want to think about structural solutions, such as reasonable work hours, paid parental leave, and paid childcare?” wonders Almeling.


Egg-freezing perk will not make workplace more equal for women

Posted on : Date (27 / Oct / 2014)

In an effort to recruit and retain more female employees, Facebook and Apple last week offered to pay up to $20,000 for egg freezing as a luxury perk. Some embraced this announcement as giving more choices and financial help to women who may have spent their own money on this expensive procedure. Others saw it more cynically as paying women to put off childbearing. 
In an interview to Neelam Raaj, Seema Mohapatra, a healthcare law and bioethics expert at Barry University School of Law, weighs in on the debate.
Egg freezing sounds like a cool way to defer motherhood. Can it really help women beat their biological clock?
People shouldn't just look at the sunny side of egg freezing. Before women rely on this technology to put off starting a family , some scientific questions need to be explored.First, there is no long-term data that guarantees that eggs frozen for several years will thaw, fertilize, and implant successfully.Although a few thousand babies have been born from frozen eggs, these eggs have been frozen for much shorter periods of time than being contemplated now.
At this point in the state of the technology , the promise of egg freezing is just that -a promise. Doctors must ensure that women who choose to freeze do not have unrealistic expectations about the process or the results. A woman is not guaranteed a healthy biological child and pregnancy just because she froze her eggs. There are health risks involved in the invasive process of retrieving eggs, and there are health complications that might arise from having children later in life and through in-vitro fertilization.
Many feminists have criticized the idea of employer-enabled egg freezing, arguing that this will create an even more hostile environment for women who do not want to make the choice between career and starting a family. What do you think?
Furthermore, offering an egg-freezing benefit does not do anything to help equalize workplace policies for women. There needs to be a strong policy to support women who choose to have children without freezing. There cannot be an underlying feeling of, `Hey , you have this egg-freezing benefit, why are you taking maternity leave now when we need you?'
Apple and Facebook are two companies that actually have better than average family benefits compared with others in the US.They offer subsidized daycare, paid maternity leave, paid paternity leave, and other benefits. In fact, Facebook announced a $4,000 new parent cash benefit along with the egg-freezing announcement. None of this is even required in the US. In fact, the US is one of eight countries in the world that does not require paid maternity leave (in the company of the likes of Liberia, Suriname, and Papua New Guinea).
I hope other companies emulate the other women and family-friendly policies of Facebook and Apple rather than egg freezing.
What about women who don't work at such "generous" firms?
Employees at companies like Apple and Facebook are typically highly educated and in the upper echelon of the workforce. Other companies who employ low-skill workers or hourly workers do not even pay for maternity benefits, so there is no chance of them offering luxury perks like egg freezing. Obviously , Facebook and Apple are only trying to improve their recruiting efforts with this benefit, not solve the dilemmas of all working women. However, I do worry about the class differences that continue to be perpetuated by the availability of egg freezing to mostly the upper class while lower-income women remain in workplaces that are not family-friendly.
Fertility companies are holding egg-freezing parties and using other marketing hardsell. Is that what is drawing younger working women to the option?
If professional workplaces were hospitable places for women to have babies while they were younger and less financially established, it is unlikely that egg freezing would hold such appeal to those women who are considering having a child. But the lack of excellent maternity and childcare policies in companies causes women to be excited about this option to extend their fertility. Although not as "sexy", accom modations made for working mothers, such as paid leave and child care, may go much further as a way to cope with the biological clock rather than egg freezing.


Surrogacy in India, a boon for childless couples

Posted on : Date (08 / July / 2014)

In what was considered an alternative reproductive option or a mere last resort has now become mostly a hush-hush choice of couples and is gradually hopping across to the mainstream. Bollywood stars are giving the practice ofsurrogacy a stamp of social legitimacy. The emerging trend of couples opting for children with the help of a surrogate mother has become real and is on the rise across the country.
Not only has the commercial surrogacy industry become an instant hit in the country after Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan and wife Gauri Khan became proud parents of baby boy Abram who was born from a surrogate mother, but it has also lifted the shame of being barren in most patriarchal societies. The open acknowledgement of the measure has given the process a kind of glamour and acceptability it did not possess earlier.
"People are now open to surrogacy and the taboo is no longer associated with it. There are a lot of clinics across the country and the prevalence of the industry is crystal clear with an estimate of 22 per cent in the urban areas," says Abhishek Biswas, Head of Genome Fertility Centre.
Surrogacy, an act of arrangement to carry the pregnancy of intended parent, is often resorted to when medical issues do not permit pregnancy or make carrying a pregnancy risky. Monetary compensation may or may not be a part of the deal. If the surrogate receives compensation beyond the reimbursement of medical and other reasonable expenses, it is known as commercial surrogacy; otherwise it is referred to as altruistic surrogacy.
With infertility rates on the rise and a growing acceptance of same-sex couples, thousands of people annually are opting for this measure as a way of having genetic children through a process of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and embryo transfer. Moreover, with commercial surrogacy banned in most nations, many are flocking to India to hire the wombs of woman in what is known as 'surrogacy tourism'.
"Surrogacy has become a need and is the only solution to infertile couples all over the world. India not only caters its service of commercial surrogacy to the couples of its own country but also to couples from all over the world," says Dr Rajiv Agarwal, IVF Care.
IVF is a more common form of surrogacy. In this procedure, a woman carries a pregnancy created by the egg and sperm of a genetic couple. The egg of the wife is fertilized in-vitro by the husband's sperms by IVF/ICSI procedure and the embryo is transferred into the surrogate's uterus who carries it for nine months. The child is not genetically linked to the surrogate.
According to a recent survey, infertility affects nearly 13-14 per cent of reproductive-aged couples. Late marriages, career priorities and finance are generally the key causes behind it. Doctors say that nearly 60 per cent of patients above 40 have difficulty in conceiving naturally. Thanks to top quality equipments, favourable pricing and a hassle-free 'legal' process, the affair has been made ideal for such couples in the country. Having a baby through in-vitro fertilisation has gone a long way to make this topic mainstream. According to a report, there has been an average increase of 25 per cent in the number of fertility units in the city.
"There are a lot of clinics set up in the country and Kolkata has become a hub for international couples. In Bangladesh, the process is yet to be declared legal. Many other developing countries either do not allow commercial surrogacy or have few sophisticated hospitals," adds Biswas.
There are no official figures on how large the fertility industry is in India. A United Nations backed study in July 2012 estimated the surrogacy business at more than four hundred million dollars a year, with over three thousand fertility clinics across the country.
Reports show that more and more couples are opting for children via surrogacy. Moreover, it was Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao's baby through surrogacy that brought the procedure into public focus and this approach further adopted by none other than King Khan has merely helped change the perception of Indian couples.
With Bollywood endorsing surrogacy, the practice in India has attained a different level of social acceptability. A medical boon, the concept of surrogacy has managed to lurk within the darkness of mass ignorance. It has helped put aside ethical and moral concerns as the stigma associated with it continued to dwindle away. Also, it is no longer considered to be a discreet affair and has rather become something to parade and vaunt.
However, experts believe that the practice is often misconceived as a form of exploitation only to provide countless pleasures to a couple. "Unfortunately, surrogacy is often misunderstood by the media and is seen as a form of exploitation of a woman to provide immense satisfaction to couples. Such wrong perceptions should be highly discouraged," says Agarwal.
The practice carries with it a package of benefits for both the commissioning couple and the surrogate. Women who are hired as surrogates usually belong to poor families, desperate to break away from poverty. She is endowed with means that help them bring about a reformation in their lifestyle. She is given special attention and is treated with extreme care. Additionally, special accommodation called 'surrogate homes' are also provided where they are kept under hygienic conditions and are monitored throughout the pregnancy phase.
"Surrogacy is in no manner a form of exploitation, it is rather a means to provide a livelihood to many. The surrogate is entirely looked after for nine months with a focus on the thought that she is carrying someone," adds Agarwal. The commercial fertility industry has proved to be a boon for working couples, who have no time to procreate and are looking for wombs on rent. It provides a form of autonomy to women in terms of their reproductive choices.
Surrogacy in India has become a boon for several childless couples who have discovered their joy through the strategy. It has become very popular and successful among those who were helpless when it came to experiencing the dream of parenthood. And with celebrities endorsing the fertility industry, it has added to its value and served as a role model.


Bill allowing surrogacy for Israeli singles, gay couples passes first hurdle

Posted on : Date (05 / Mar / 2014)

Health Ministry fears expanding surrogacy law will create a competitive market, creating a 'wombs for hire' profession for poor women. 
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved on Sunday an amendment to the surrogacy law which would allow same-sex couples and singles to have babies through surrogacy. The current law stipulates that only heterosexualcouples may arrange to have a surrogate bear a child for them; all others are forced to go abroad for surrogacy. Approval from the committee is only one step along...


Aamir Khan, Kiran get a son through IVF, surrogacy

Posted on : Date (09 / Jan / 2014)

MUMBAI: The Actor Aamir Khan and his filmmaker-wife, Kiran Rao welcomed their first-born son-but with a classy difference. The couple, in an openness that is rare in the Indian society, announced that their son wasborn through surrogacy using the IVF (in-vitro fertilization) technique. 
Their letter, which was released to the media on Monday, thanked miracles of science and read, "This baby is especially dear to us because he was born to us after a long wait and some difficulty." The letter added that due tomedical complications, "we were advised to have a baby through IVF-surrogacy, and we feel very grateful to the Almighty that all has gone well".

The couple didn't mention whether their son was born in Mumbai or outside. They underwent treatment with Dr Firuza Parikh, who heads Jaslok Hospital's IVF department. On Monday, Dr Parikh told TOI, "This is an extremely happymoment for us. Kiran has gone through a lot and we are all excited for her. They underwent IVF-surrogacy treatment and they are the biological and genetic parents of the baby." Family sources suggested that Kiran Rao (38), who suffered a miscarriage last year, had uterine medical problems that necessitated a surrogacy.

The couple married in December 2005. Aamir (46) has two other children from his first wife, Reena Dutta.

On Monday, in a single sweep of words, the actor who is associated with some path-breaking films emerged as the poster-boy for IVF and surrogacy-terms that Indians in general have been too squeamish to discuss in the open. His 'endorsement of sorts' comes in a year of controversies surrounding surrogacy in Mumbai; babies born through it to foreigners were deemed 'stateless' because their parents' country of origin didn't recognize surrogacy.

The medical fraternity believes that Aamir's letter will change the public perception about IVF. Dr Indira Hinduja, who is officially credited with India's first test-tube baby born in KEM Hospital 25 years ago, said, "It's nice of Aamir Khan to talk about it. He is a top star and people may now no longer mind undergoing a surrogacy treatment and talking about it."

Infertility specialist Dr Hrishikesh Pai said Aamir's statement would bring surrogacy into the mainstream of medicine. But, more important, he said, was that Aamir's "speaking out" will help people accept the world of IVF. "Iget calls from former patients saying they have recommended my centre to a friend or family member. In the same breath, they add that they don't want this person to know that they themselves had undergone IVF treatment with me earlier. People are paranoid about being considered disadvantaged for seeking help in having a child."

Aamir's endorsement could have both a positive and a negative impact, said infertility specialist Dr Aniruddha Malpani. "Celebs play a big role in influencing societal attitudes and the fact that Aamir Khan has used surrogacyto have a baby and has issued a press release stating this publicly means that many other infertile couples will want to learn more about this option," he said.

The bad impact, he said, is that surrogacy will now become more acceptable as a method of family building. "The danger is that many other infertile couples will follow blindly in his footsteps. Surrogacy can be misused, overused and abused," added Dr Malpani.

Shahrukh Khan and surrogacy in India

Posted on : Date (28 / Nov / 2013)

Indian film star Shahrukh Khan (SRK) refuses to discuss his son, AbRam, who was born through surrogacy some months ago. He has maintained that matters concerning surrogacy and sex determination are too serious to be spoken oflightly. His reticence is understandable given the controversy generated by the news of his newborn amid allegations of prenatal sex discernment. 
However, for the commercial surrogacy industry in India, Shahrukh Khan need not do more. With his announcement that his third child was born of a surrogate mother, he probably did for the industry, what Barack Obama did for BlackBerry in 2009 by declaring his fondness for the smartphone. The US president's free publicity of the handheld device is said to have been worth millions of dollars to its makers; SRK's endorsement of surrogacy cannot be said to be insignificant either, keeping in mind his brand value as the undisputed badshah of Bollywood. And SRK is not alone. He is joined by other Khans, Aamir and Sohail (Salman Khan's brother), both of whom had children through surrogacy in 2011. Together, they have given, wittingly or otherwise, celebrity endorsement to surrogacy that has seen a boom in recent times amidst ethical concerns and the Indian government's efforts to put in place a regulation (Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill).

Whatever may have been the compulsions for SRK (Age - 47) and his wife Gauri (Age - 42), surrogacy is suddenly 'cool' and modern. Indian parents who do not have time to produce babies are looking for wombs on rent. Neither does it have to be a discreet affair, as it used to be in our conservative societies, till recently, despite India having been one of the top fertility tourism destinations of the world for some time now. Rather, it is something to flaunt, something that the rich and famous do. Bollywood's first couple Shahrukh Khan and Gauri, already parents to Aryan (Age - 15) and Suhana (Age - 12), have done it. So, why shouldn't anyone with money? Why take all the trouble when you can get a child with your eyes and hair colour delivered, just like pizza or naan-tadka; when there's a woman to outsource the morning sickness, shapeless body and labour pains to? Now there is no reason to suppress the desire to have your own baby, the 'ultimate happiness' in the world. The Khans have shown how it is more important to have your own child, even if you already have children, than be bothered about 'non-questions' on ethics.

Critics of surrogacy are often rubbished as sad people who cannot tolerate the happiness of others, picking holes in something that is such a 'win-win' situation for all: the couple gets a baby and the surrogate mother earns a big pot of money? If the woman has made a profession of carrying other people's babies, she has exercised her choice. She is not a runaway college student or a kid abducted on her way to school. But never have I met a girl who gushed, 'Oh, I just cannot wait to become a surrogate mother!' The one picture that I have seen of surrogate mothers is an Associated Press photograph taken at a hospital in Gujarat, a state where unethical clinical trials of yet-to-be-launched drugs is no longer news. There are 12 women in the picture. The only face you can see is that of the doctor, wearing a yellow-and green-sari and a resplendent smile. The rest, surrogate mothers all, are wearing green hospital masks to hide their identities.

Celebrity endorsement has made it cool to overlook the distress of these women, armies of faceless mothers, who do not deserve sympathy because they have 'exercised a choice'. These women 'out there to make big money' ' let's pretend we don't know their real stories of hardship ' are forced to keep their identities a secret to escape the scrutiny of society. That itself puts them in a vulnerable situation. But don't think twice. The Khans have shown it is all right.

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