Union Cabinet cleared the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, dated 24.08.2016, banning commercial surrogacy in India. It’s a draft bill which is yet to be passed by government.
The above named draft bill bans the following from eligibility of surrogacy:
Following are Eligible for surrogacy.
Note: Eligible couples will have to turn to close relatives, but in case of altruistic surrogacy it is not necessary to be related by blood.
Altruistic surrogacy Means:
a practice whereby a woman agrees, for no financial gain, to become pregnant and bear a child for another person or persons to whom she intends to transfer the child’s care at, or shortly after, the child’s birth.
Brief History of the issues that arise out of Surrogacy.
The surrogacy debate started in India in 2008, when two-week-old Baby Manji Yamada was left stateless after the commissioning parents in Japan divorced during the pregnancy and the commissioning mother refused to accept the baby. While the court granted custody to the baby’s grandmother.
In 2008, another case, on the citizenship of surrogate babies, led the Gujarat High Court to state that there is “extreme urgency to push through legislation” which addresses issues that arise out of surrogacy.
Subsequently, the 228th report of the Law Commission of India recommended prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing ethical altruistic surrogacy to the needy Indian citizens by enacting a suitable legislation.
Commissioning Parents Means:
One woman (host mother or surrogate mother) carries a child for another as the result of an agreement which is made before conception that the child should be handed over after birth. The couples wishing to have the child are called the commissioning couple.
Following are the Highlights to be viewed with regard to Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016:
Key Aspects Of The Bill
The draft surrogacy Bill aims at:
Hereunder are some Experts View:
The draft Bill bans renting a womb for money and allows it only if the woman is doing so for altruistic reasons, which surrogacy experts dubbed illogical and unreasonable.
The draft Bill is both draconian and unreasonable. It is a violation of the reproductive right of the surrogate mother, said Hari G Ramasubramanian, surrogacy law expert and founder of Indian Surrogacy Law Centre and Gift Life Egg bank, Chennai. He questioned: “How many people actually have someone who will be willing to be a surrogate.”
Mr. Ramasubramanian said the draft Bill even banned egg donation that would only ensure that a sizeable number of people seeking IVF treatment (In vitro fertilisation or IVF, is a process by which an egg is fertilised by sperm outside the body: would not be able to take it up now.
Conclusion: It aims at regulating commissioning of surrogacy in the country in a proper manner. Commercial Surrogacy should be banned. A woman will be allowed to become a surrogate mother only for altruistic purpose and under no circumstances money shall be paid to her, except for medical expenses.
Let’s hope this draft bill to be passed soon.