IntroductionThe Central government has approved the introduction of a bill that seeks to ban commercial surrogacy and sanction only infertile couples to bear a child using a surrogate mother.
- India has begun to grow as a surrogacy hub and incidents were reported on unethical practices.
- As per study the conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in 2012, the extent of India’s Surrogate motherhood industry was around $2 billion a year.
- Many incidents related to misuse of surrogate mothers, abandonment of babies born out of surrogacy & mediators importing human embryos & gametes.
- An Australian pair allegedly abandoned one of twin babies born to an Indian Surrogate mother in 2012, as they already had a child of the same sex.
Provision of Proposed Bill
- Non- Resident Indians (NRI) or People of Indian Origin (PIO) will not be permitted to choose a surrogate mother in India.
- Single men & women, heterosexual couples who choose not to opt for marriage, gay couples & transgender persons are not allowed to have baby through surrogacy.
- Lawfully married Indian couples can have a surrogate child only after five years of legal marriage & has to submit a medical certificate as a proof for infertility.
- The bill makes it mandatory for surrogate mothers to be married and be a close relative of the couple wanting a child. She should also have given birth to a healthy child before bearing a baby for another couple.
- Violating the law can get 10 years of jail term or a fine of Ten Lakh rupees.
- To supervise, a National Surrogacy Board chaired by the health minister will be created.
- The constitutional rights of surrogate mother & children born out of surrogacy will be protected.
- Check the misuse of women especially poorer section women, who were forced to get into this business for the survival of their family.
- It protects women from frequent surrogate pregnancies for financial gains.
- The enormous people involving in surrogacy are poor or illiterate women, who may have only a weak grasp of their contractual rights.
- The complete ban of commercial surrogacy will drive the industry underground & render surrogate mothers even more vulnerable.
- It does not address the present social reality where singles, homosexuals or live-in pairs might wish to have a biological child through the surrogacy route.
- It has not kept an eye on the livelihood of poor women who are involved in surrogacy business.
- There could be the possibility of coercion of daughter in law in families.
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