Bill to ban commercial surrogacy introduced in Lok Sabha
While the firework of opposition demanding discussion on demonetisation, the government has introduced a bill to ban commercial surrogacy.
The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 was introduced by Health Minister JP Nadda, intends to protect women from exploitation and ensure the rights of the children born through surrogacy.
Once approved by Parliament, there will be a complete ban on commercial surrogacy except altruistic surrogacy will be permitted for needy infertile couples under strict regulations.
Earlier India emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries. There were incidents concerning unethical practices, exploitation of surrogate mothers and abandonment of children born out of surrogacy. Now the bill entitles only Indian citizens to avail of surrogacy.
Under the new law foreigners, NRIs, homosexuals, single parents, and live-in couples are not entitled to surrogacy. Also, couples who already have children will not be allowed to go in for surrogacy.
The bill allows surrogacy only for legally married couples after five years of marriage and with a certificate from a doctor stating that they are medically unfit to produce a child. Women within the age group of 23 years to 50 years and men aged between 26 to 55 years will be eligible to go in for surrogacy.
Through an attempt to check commercial exploitation and middlemen, the surrogate mother can only be a close relative, like a sister or sister-in-law who is married and has at least one healthy biological child. A woman can be a surrogate only once in her lifetime.