Government Request Proof of Child from Moosawala’s Father

Two years ago, the popular Punjabi singer Siddhu Moosewala’s father became a father again at the age of 60, while his mother is 58 years old. In India, having a child through IVF at this age is illegal.

IVF and Maternal Age

According to current studies, women can now give birth from the age of 35 to 37, which means they can give birth to a child at such a young age because they experience menopause early. If the mother is active and gives birth before the age of 40, there are usually no problems, but if a child is born after the age of 40, there is a higher chance of developmental issues in the child.

The Controversy Surrounding Siddhu Moosewala’s Parents’ IVF Treatment

Siddhu Moosewala’s parents gave birth to a child after a few days. When the news spread, his father denied it initially, but later, when the child was born, he shared a photo with the newborn and created a buzz on social media. However, the Punjab government asked for proof from Moosewala’s parents to confirm if the child was legal. This incident raised questions about whether any rules were broken for the child and if so, which laws were violated.

Understanding IVF Laws

Regarding IVF, Dr. Manish explains that the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act 2021 was introduced, and it has been in effect since January 25, 2022. The main reason for enacting this law was to regulate and control IVF processes. The law is quite extensive, spanning 60-70 pages, and covers various aspects such as who can perform surgery, when it can be done, and strict regulations on age limits for both men and women.

Legal Issues and Age Limits in IVF

The law sets an age limit of 55 for men and 50 for women for IVF treatment. If this law is violated, there is a penalty of 5-10 lakh rupees and imprisonment for 3-8 years. Moosewala’s parents, being 60 and 58 years old, cannot legally undergo IVF treatment in India. If they choose to undergo treatment abroad, it would be considered illegal. This raises concerns about the child’s future legality and the consequences of breaking the law.

Why the Age Limit for IVF?

Dr. Manish explains that the age limit for IVF treatment, set at 55 for men and 50 for women, is reasonable because beyond this age, complications may arise during childbirth. If a child is born when parents are 60, they may not be physically fit to care for the child as they age, and the child’s health may be at risk. Therefore, age limits are necessary to ensure the well-being of both parents and children. However, there is controversy over setting the age limit at 23 for both men and women, as many believe it’s too restrictive. The debate continues on whether it’s justified to prevent childbirth after the age of 23 when the legal age for marriage is 21.

Why IVF after 55 years is Illegal?

Why has the age limit been set for IVF treatment, and what is the main reason behind determining the upper age limit? Dr. Manish says, “For IVF treatment, the maximum age limit for men is 55 years and for women is 50 years, it is exactly the same. Because if a child is born later, it becomes difficult to raise them. If a child is born at the age of 60, by the time they become adults, their parents would be around 80 years old, making it difficult for them to provide necessary care. Furthermore, at such an age, the physical condition of the mother may deteriorate, and she may not be able to give birth to a healthy child. Due to all these reasons, an age limit is set. However, the minimum age limit for both men and women is set at 23 years. This has faced considerable opposition, and many people are debating on this issue. Because if the minimum age for marriage is 21 years, then why can’t a child be conceived until the age of 23?”

How is IVF treatment done?

Talking about the process, Dr. Manish explains, “In vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment involves the creation of an embryo outside the body. Every month, women produce an egg for pregnancy, but if they do not become pregnant, injections are given to produce more eggs. After this process, when the perfect egg is formed, the patient is given anesthesia, and the egg is retrieved. After retrieving the egg, it is fertilized with the man’s sperm (sperm), resulting in the formation of a perfect embryo. Once the embryo is formed, it is implanted back into the woman’s uterus. Many embryos are created through mixing with sperm, but only 1 or 2 are implanted inside the uterus, and the rest are medically preserved. If the treatment is not successful the first time, the process may need to be repeated in another cycle. The entire process does not necessarily need to be repeated. If the implanted embryo is successful, a child is born. This is how the entire IVF treatment is carried out.”

Who suffers more during IVF, women or men?

Gujaratis are increasingly turning towards IVF now. Among them, the maximum are from Ahmedabad. According to Dr. Manish, “In IVF, out of the cases that come, only 10-15% of the cases end up requiring the use of someone else’s sperm. The rest are successful with the couple’s own sperm. If someone thinks that IVF is done because of the shortcomings of men or women, that’s incorrect. Both partners face similar situations. There is no difference in appearance. It’s just that IVF is done due to the reasons of men or women alone. 35% of cases have male infertility, while in 35% of cases, it’s female infertility, and in 20% of cases, both partners are infertile. In Ahmedabad, about 1000 couples give birth to a child through IVF every month, and speaking of Gujarat, it can be said that between 10,000 to 15,000 couples opt for IVF every month.

Challenges Faced by Couples Seeking IVF Treatment

In what kinds of cases do couples come for IVF treatment? Dr. Manish explains, “The most common reason for couples coming for IVF treatment is low sperm count in men or issues like blocked tubes or difficulty in producing eggs in women. In many cases, both partners may be perfectly fit, yet conception doesn’t occur. Often, repeated abortions can be a reason. Sometimes, genetic hereditary issues also necessitate IVF.”

“Why are twins mostly born through IVF?”

“Many times, doctors intentionally implant two embryos in the uterus to increase the chances of success. If both succeed, twins are born. However, if the doctor is precise, only one embryo is implanted, reducing the chances of twins.”

Giving Birth After the Age of 40 Becomes Challenging

Naturally, until what age can women give birth? Dr. Manish says, “Normally, women can give birth up to 35 to 37 years. Even if the mother is active and gives birth after 40, there shouldn’t be any problem. But giving birth after the age of 40 can pose problems for either the mother or the child. The law has now made it possible for women to give birth through IVF at any age. However, it is advisable for couples to not opt for IVF after the age of 40 or 45 for the health and safety of both the mother and the child. After fertility diminishes due to IVF, only 20% of couples succeed, meaning only about two thousand couples per month in Gujarat give birth after the age of 40 or after undergoing fertility treatment.”

Earlier, having the first child at the age of 20 was common, now 30 is normal

When talking about the beginning, people used to get married at the age of 17 to 20 and have a child within a year or two. But that time has passed now. On this matter, renowned gynecologist Dr. Latika Shah says, “The most suitable age for pregnancy is between 20 and 30 years. In earlier times, people used to marry at 18 and have a child soon after, whereas now the minimum age for marriage is 21. Now, both men and women are working, and so they delay marriage for career purposes. Therefore, in most cases, couples have their first child after the age of 30. In Gujarat, girls are getting married at the age of 25 now, but in cities like Mumbai, people get married at 30 and prepare for childbirth at the age of 35.”

Pregnancy Eggs Limited in Women

For those who conceive a child after 30 years, can there be any difficulties? Dr. Latika says, “The number of eggs for pregnancy in women is fixed, or fewer eggs will be produced from the ovaries as they age. As periods occur, the number of eggs also decreases. This means with increasing age, the number of eggs also decreases. Another reason is that as age increases, the quality of eggs for pregnancy also deteriorates. Moreover, if periods start before 12 years and pregnancy does not occur until 35, the chances of developing cysts in the uterus also increase. Diseases of the uterus start to occur. After 30, common diseases like diabetes, body pain, etc., also start to occur. Therefore, after a certain age, there may be problems in pregnancy.”

Increased Risk in Pregnancy After 30

If a woman becomes pregnant after the age of 30, there can be many diseases and difficulties for the child too. Dr. Latika Shah explains, “If a woman becomes pregnant after 30, many diseases and difficulties can occur for the child too. I had a patient who had a child after 30 years and had to undergo a forced delivery, resulting in brain damage to the child. It has been proven in many studies that if pregnancy occurs after 30, the child may be born with abnormalities like Down syndrome, so the chances of the child being healthy decrease.”

Girls’ Periods Starting at 8 Years Now

It is now common for girls and boys to reach puberty at 12 or 14 years of age. This means that girls start having periods, boys become active, both undergo physical development of genitals-hormones, etc., but now there is a reduction even at this age. Dr. Latika explains, “According to a recent study by WHO, the age of puberty onset for children has decreased to 8 years. This means that girls now start having periods at the age of 8. In this case, genetic reasons also play a significant role. It means if a mother started her periods at a later age, her daughter might also start at a later age.”

No Chance of Becoming a Mother After 35

Madam, if the onset is earlier, has there been a decrease even in the age of becoming full? Dr. Latika says, “Well, generally, menopause occurs around 45 years, meaning that the chances of becoming a mother are fulfilled when eggs are also mature. The shocking fact is that now there has also been a reduction in this. Nowadays, periods stop between 35 and 37 years, meaning that there are no chances of becoming a mother after 35. However, genetic reasons also play a part in this. If a mother stopped menstruating at 40, her daughter might also stop at 36 or 37.” Considering all these reasons, the window period for pregnancy has become very short after 30 years. Because even though people marry after the age of 30 and prepare for children, by 35, the age is already fulfilled, leaving only a window of 5 to 7 years. Therefore, the need for IVF increases.

Why Fear of Having Children until Age 30 in Couples?

Dr. Latika Shah explains the reasons behind the fear of having children late in couples, stating, “Currently, there’s a craze among couples. Before 25, young people didn’t even think about marriage because they were more concerned about their careers. People used to believe that they should get married only after settling down and even then not think about children until they are 30. As the cost of raising children increases day by day, this also has a significant impact. Earlier, when couples had 2-3 children, now when they think about having just one child, they don’t worry about it as pregnancy age is extending beyond 30. Many now only discuss whether they want a child or not before marriage, unlike before when this conversation used to happen only after marriage.”

What’s Behind the Increasing Craze for IVF Treatment?

Dr. Latika explains, “In recent years, the use of IVF has increased significantly. About 15,000 Gujaratis per month are resorting to IVF for childbirth. What’s the reason behind this increase? Speaking further, she says, ‘Nowadays, the window for pregnancy is only about 5-7 years. So if pregnancy doesn’t happen during this time, then couples resort to IVF. The main function of the uterus is to carry the fetus and give birth. If a child does not remain after 10-12 years of periods, then there can be problems in the uterus, and the chances of having a child naturally also decrease. Hence, many resort to the path of IVF.”

Significant Damage to Sex Life Due to Lifestyle Reasons

What causes a decrease in sperm count in both men and women? Why has there been such a noticeable change? Dr. Latika says, “Lifestyle is the major factor. Increasing smoking and drinking habits have a significant impact. Nowadays, not only boys but girls are also inclining towards smoking and drinking. Along with that, increasing work stress, irregular eating habits, and junk food intake are also causing significant difficulties. All these affect the body, but they also harm the sex life. This is why there is a decrease in sperm count in men and a difference in egg quality in women.

Anusha Aggarwal

My name is Anusha Aggarwal. With a deep fascination for the science behind health, hair care, skin care, and body care, I'm a dedicated writer committed to helping readers achieve optimal wellness. Through years of research and personal experience, I provide expert insights into the latest trends and techniques in the beauty and wellness.