// you’re reading...

Assisted Reproduction

Surrogate Mother Dies; Premature Baby Survives

One of the rare but heartwrenching risks of surrogacy:

The premature baby boy born to a surrogate mother who died from complications on Monday night has been taken off ventilator and is “doing all right,” according to doctors. Meanwhile, the American woman for whom the Premila Vaghela bore the child reached the city and had a look at the newborn on Thursday morning, doctors said. The identity of American woman was disclosed only by her first name Helen.

The deceased woman’s family members, who live in a small house in a congested lane at the Amraiwadi neighbourhood in Ahmedabad’s outskirts, refused to speak to the media. Her sister said simply, “She was precious to us. Now we cannot do anything about it. Please leave.” Vaghela’s husband Karsan is a daily-wage labourer and the couple have two children of their own.

The newborn weighs a healthy 1.740 kilograms and the hypoxia is subsiding, said Dr Ashish Mehta, consultant neonatologist at the Arpan Newborn Care Centre, where he is being looked after. “He was quite sick to begin with,” he said, adding Helen was alone when she came.

Dr Pravin Patel, director of the Nova Pulse IVF Clinic where Vaghela was being looked after, said she developed complications during a check-up at the clinic around 4 pm on Monday.

Doctors there conducted an emergency Caesarean but she did not recover. She was sent to another private hospital, but could not be saved.

Police had sent the body for post mortem on Tuesday but the report is still awaited.

I hope and pray provisions were made in the surrogacy agreement to provide for Ms. Vaghela’s family as she made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of her Intended Mother. While this will be small solace as nothing can replace a wife and mother, it at least will provide some financial security to Ms. Vaghela’s family as they struggle with their tragic loss.


4 comments for “Surrogate Mother Dies; Premature Baby Survives”

  • Jon

    Never heard of the Arpan clinic, so it’s probably one of those clinics that is “off the beaten path” for Westerners going to India for surrogacy. But it’s important your readers note that the preferred clinics for Westerners all provide insurance policies for the surrogates that compensate them very adequately in a situation like this. The insurance policy is paid for by the commissioning parents.

    It is very unfortunate that an incident like this has occurred but your readers should understand that this happens everywhere, including the US. Surrogate deaths are not limited to just India if that is what you are implying by posting this article, which is even extremely rare in India if you look at the overral volume of babies born via surrogacy.

    What is most important to your readers is that, should they decide to go the India route, they should only work with established and reputable clinics where their rights and also the rights of the surrogate are protected in every possible scenario. I don’t want to endorse any specific clinics but there is a network of blogs and forums and Google can also provide a wealth of information to help your readers identify the optimal choice.

    • As always Jon, thank you for your insight and perspective. Your experience in working in India is invaluable as it allows our readers to make truly informed decisions. So again, thank you!

  • Eric W

    In India, maternal mortaly ratio is ten times higher than in USA and 25 times higher than in France. Thinking about the risks that the surrogate may face is an important part of every informed decision.


  • Pingback: The Spin Doctor | Are Surrogates In India Being Exploited And Placed In Peril? - The Spin Doctor()

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed