Up until recently, Akanksha Infertility Clinic in Anand, Gujarat, was the leading surrogacy clinic in India. At its peak in 2015, the clinic saw 185 births through surrogacy. Today, things are different. The majority of beds in the hostel for surrogate mothers lie empty. The once-serpentine queues of couples—both foreign and Indian—are now markedly shorter. In 2018, the number of surrogate deliveries in the hospital had dropped to just 95—almost half its peak numbers. Plans to build another such centre have now been scrapped, says Akanksha founder Nayna Patel, a doctor specialising in in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and surrogacy.
Work of ART
Surrogacy’s ashes prove fertile for India’s large IVF chains
Proposed legislation has dented India’s reputation as a global surrogacy capital. But as the sun sets on surrogacy, large, institutionally-funded IVF chains are readying for their moment in the sun
Surrogacy for international couples was banned in 2016 and a bill banning commercial surrogacy was passed by the Lok Sabha in 2018
The two laws have adversely affected unorganised standalone IVF centres whose revenues were dependent on surrogacy
While this has impacted the Indian fertility market, private equity firms remain bullish on organised IVF chains
What was surrogacy’s loss, they posit, will be a massive boost for large, organised IVF chains