Bangalore International Centre had arranged a conversation on “Surrogate motherhood – Social, Legal and Ethical Perspectives” on Thursday, 23rd April, 2015 at 6.30 PM at its conferenced hall. The Conversationalists were Ms. Gita Aravamudan, well-known Senior Journalist and author and Ms. Sonali Kusum, Ph.D Research Scholar at National Law School, Bangalore.
Sonali initiated the talk with origin and genesis of surrogacy by tracing it back to the oldest/ age old Babylonian times of the Mesopotamia era where in surrogacy as altruistic act was largely practiced and viewed as a socially accepted practice where the wife was infertile
Thereafter she highlighted that Conceptualization of surrogacy as a medical treatment to infertility or an arrangement with surrogate mother as prime stakeholder has come into sharp focus during recent years. In a lucid narrative, she brought out the facts relating to the medical and legal development on surrogacy in India making the birth of first surrogate child in India coupled with the proposed first ever legal instrument Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) Bill 2010 etc. which are not widely known. As stressed by her, there are issues relating to surrogacy practiced in India as large scale commercial surrogacy and cross border surrogacy, the actual conduct of surrogacy in India through entering of surrogacy agreement, assessing the legality, complications of the agreement etc. which deserves to be better known. There are also issues like plight of surrogate mothers, the reproductive health exploitation and denial of other legal rights which deserve discussion and debate. The conversation between Ms. Sonali and Ms. Gita Aravamudan threw interesting lights on the way the society has reacted so far on these issues.
Ms. Gita Aravamudan also highlighted the different facets of the legal, ethical and moral aspects of surrogacy through her personal experience and anecdotes.
In spite of the extremely inclement weather, several well-known personalities participated in this sparsely-attended event and enriched the lively interactive session.