Friday, August 26th, 2016

Understanding new surrogacy Bill: What does it really mean?

Angel Abraham | August 26, 2016 5:40 pm Print
The Bill aims at preventing misuse of surrogacy by the Indian upper class and foreigners
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan with son Abram

The new Bill on surrogacy which was approved by the government on Wednesday is really something we had been waiting for quite some time as surrogacy was fast changing from “necessity to a fashion”, as stated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The Bill states that surrogacy cannot be opted by single parents, homosexuals, couples already having a kid, NRIs and foreigners, in order to control the misuse and commercialization of surrogacy.

A peep into the last couple of years can show many incidents where surrogacy was actually misused by the Indian upper class, including celebrities like Bollywood ‘King Khan’ Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri Khan, as well as Tusshar Kapoor. Shah Rukh Khan already has two children, one boy and one girl and they opted for another baby through surrogacy. Interestingly, Tusshar is a single parent and has got a baby son with the help of surrogacy. It’s so pathetic to see surrogacy to be taken to levels of mere money matters other than the real necessity of it in life.

Altruistic surrogacy, where a woman can agree for surrogacy without any financial benefit, rather all the medical and other expenses will be met by her, is also a good side of the Bill. But the rule that only close relatives can be opted as surrogate mother is really a tricky question. Will the relatives of such couple be ready for surrogacy?

Here again the negative aspect of it can be taken into account. The illegality of such surrogacy will increase. A lot many centres will start giving out surrogacy options with higher rates and it might even turn out into a surrogacy mafia, where again the poor will be exploited and brokers and doctors may start minting money out of this.

In many countries like Australia,New Zealand, Canada, Netherlands , Belgium etc., altruistic surrogacy is the only option and due to this, we can see that a lot of foreign nationals coming to India for IVF as well as surrogacy treatments.

The new Bill, which is yet to be passed by Parliament, has to be debated and discussed on a higher level.

Angel Abraham