The Clinics: An Introduction

When we embarked on the surrogacy process, the first questions we had were "where can we find a clinic" and "what services can they provide".  Then we started wondering "what are the differences between the clinics."  There are more than we realized. 

As compared to other countries, finding a clinic in India is pretty straight forward.  In the U.S., for example, the intended parents need to source the clinic, gestational carrier and lawyer separately.  Intended Parents can can alternatively go through an agency, but recent reports of California surrogacy agencies running off with the prospective parent's money don't do much to inspire confidence.  In other countries, especially in Europe, intended parents find a legal system that is down right surrogacy-unfriendly.

India is surrogacy friendly, and the established clinics will find and oversee the gestational carrier and also provide standard contracts.  These clinics provide a one-stop shop.  And they have established track records.

A word about the legal contract: like any contract, if you get to the point where it is required, you're in trouble.  So while having a contract is smart, rely more on entering into a situation that you feel has a very high probability of coming out well.  (This is obviously not legal advice - it's personal advice.) 

There are a number of surrogacy clinics in India, although several seem to be really marketing and establishing theselves as surrogacy specialists for overseas patients.  These include:

Rotunda - The Center for Human Reproduction.  Rotunda was founded in 1963, specializing in treatment of male and female infertility.  It is located in Mumbai, with Dr. Allahbadia as its current Medical Director.  Dr. Allahbadia was an early pioneer in the surrogacy process.  While consulting with Hiranandani hospital in Mumbai, he and Dr. Yashodhara Mhatre delivered the first documented trans-ethnic surrogate baby in May of 2006.  It was delivered by an Indian surrogate for an ethnically Chinese couple from Singapore.  He is now the Medical Director at Rotunda.  According to its web site, in 2007 its chemical pregnancy rate for self cycles were about 33% and for recipient (egg donor) cycles about 50%, with over 300 clinical pregnancies since 2000.

Akanksha (Kaival) Infertility and IVF Hospital (Anand).  Akanksha is located in Anand, a small city by Indian standards, and is sometimes refered to as the Anand clinic.  Dr. Patel, who runs the clinic, began offering surrogacy services in 2004.  She supported a 43-year old woman, helping her act as a surrogate for her daughter and son-in-law, who were both living in the U.K. at the time.  This is the story really starting giving surrogacy international attention.  Later, in 2007, a couple that used the clinic was featured on Oprah.  Dr. Patel reports a 44% success rate, which is probably why she has a waiting list of over 200 intended parents with lead times of up to 7 months.   In October 2009, Dr. Patel reported 232 total surrogates that had given birth since she started offering surrogacy as a service.

Surrogacy India.  A relative newcomer but quickly establishing itself, Surrogacy India launched its services in 2008 with its first successful surrogacy delivery in May, 2009.   Surrogacy India has effectively used online channels to market itself and get the word out about its services - one can see this through the large number of blogs run by Surrogacy India clients. 

Surrogacy Centre India (Phoenix Hospital). Surrogacy Centre India is run by Dr. Shivani Sachdev Gour who received her medical qualifications in 2000 and now practices as a gynaecologist, obstretrician and IVF specialist.  While its informational brochure indicates that Dr. Sachdev Gour has delivered more than 25 babies through surrogacy, Surrogacy Centre India didn't really begin establishing it's online presence until 2009.  While the clinic offerred lower prices and enjoyed a price advantage in 2009, it has recently raised prices to be in line with other clinics, with first half 2010 prices quoted at 1,150,000 Rupees (approx. US$23,000).

Corion Fertility Clinic.  Although the Corion clinic itself is new, it's Medical Director and owner, Dr. Kadam, worked many years at Rotunda.  As the medical director and main point of contact for couples seeking surrogacy at Rotunda, she has taken many couples through the Surrogacy process and is very experienced with the surrogacy process.  She decided to go independent, and in 2010, opened her own clinic. 

Delhi IVF.  Located in India's capital, Delhi IVF claims delivering 200 to 250 surrogate procedures, and has been interviewed in multiple India press articles over the years.  Although these figures seem high, since blogs from overseas intended parents rarely mention Delhi IVF, they may reflect a high proportion of domestic Indian intended parents.  India bulletin board posters (1,2) seem somewhat negative on Delhi IVF.  At about US$17,000 for a successfull delivery, it is somewhat less expensive than Rotunda and Anand. 

Kiran Infertility Centre.  Kiran is now used by two agencies, and in an October 2009 interview Dr. Samit Sekhar, the clinic's embryologist, reported the clinic having delivered 24 surrogate babies.   Kiran claims a 65% success rate, mainly because it regularly uses two surrogates for transfers (some of the other clinics will do this upon request).  

GG Hospital.  Although it receives less publicity in the western press, GG Hospital's Doctor Kamala Selveraj was responsible for India's first surrogate born baby on June 23rd, 1994.  However, the hospital doesn't assist in finding or managing surrogates, making it difficult for westerners to work with.

To get an idea of which couples are using which services, visit the Other People's Experiences page, which lists blogs and the clinic the blog owners are working with.  Note the listings are based primarily on English language blogs, and some clinics (like Surrogacy India) have used the Internet marketing channel more widely than others to attract clients, as a result it has a relatively large number of blogs.  Some of the clinics that don't do much online marketing haven't attracting the blogging clients.  The blogs often outline, in varying levels of detail, peoples' experiences with the clinics they've cycled with.

 

There are an increasing number of facilities providing surrogacy services.  Some are more integrated than others.  The more integrated services will provide fertility/IFV services, identify a surrogate, manage the surrogate, and oversee the pregnancy.  Rotunda and Akanksha fall into this category.  Less integrated services will conduct the egg retreival/transfer, but may not help find a surrogate, manage the relationship with the surrogate, provide a contract for the surrogate.  GG Hospital currently falls into this category.  A broader list of India Surrogacy clinics, not all of which provide fully integrated services, includes:

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Although they don't get as much publicity in the U.S., there are also surrogacy clinics in other countries. Some of these include:

 

Which clinic did you work with?

33% (3 votes)
33% (3 votes)
Surrogacy Centre India (Phoenix Hospital) (write-in)
11% (1 vote)
Surrogacy Centre India (write-in)
11% (1 vote)
WeeCare Surrogacy India (write-in)
11% (1 vote)
0% (0 votes)
Total voters: 9
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