Even as the Hyderabad High Court questioned officials on steps taken to safeguard the health of the 48 surrogate mothers who were confined in a fertility centre in the city, another case has come to light.
District health officials raided the Padmaja Fertility Centre at Bhongir on Friday and found over 50 surrogate mothers living in a building adjacent to the clinic.
“The women were brought from different parts of the country and were put up at this shelter in large rooms. The surrogate mothers are paid Rs 2 lakh. There are women from Telangana state, Maharashtra and north India,” an official from the district health department told Deccan Chronicle.
The DC report adds that the centre was charging Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh for the surrogacy, and had been running for four years.
Stating that the clinic had been in the news for violations earlier, reports add that officials seized documents but did not shut down the facility.
Meanwhile, the centre denied the allegations, and claimed that it was operating legally.
"We have all the papers needed and have submitted them to the officials today. When it comes to having surrogates under our supervision, there is no law which says that we can't do that. Moreover, the woman is bearing someone else's child, who would take care of her, if the clinic sends her home? Till now, about 500 women had given birth to 700 children at our centre and we have zero mortality rate. So, I can assure that surrogates are safe here and are given all facilities," the Times of India quoted M Diwakar Reddy, Managing Director of the centre, as saying.
On Thursday, days after the Hyderabad police raided the Sai Kiran Infertility Centre at Banjara Hills, the High Court issued a notice to the state government to take steps to safeguard the health of the 48 surrogate mothers who were kept confined in the hospital.
The infertility centre had hired brokers, and was collecting Rs 15 to Rs 30 lakh from their clients, while only Rs 3 lakh would be paid to the surrogate mothers.
The women were kept in the second and third floor of the building where they were being provided with food, medicine, and Rs 10,000 as subsistence allowance.