Governance

Government proposes a ban on commercial surrogacy

The new Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, allows surrogacy only in the case of married couples with medically proven infertility

 
By Kundan Pandey
Last Updated: Wednesday 24 August 2016 | 14:43:03 PM

India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries (Credit: iStock Images)

The Centre has proposed a ban on commercial surrogacy in the new Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the bill on Wednesday for introduction in Parliament. The Bill allows surrogacy for married couples with medically proven infertility.

India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries. There have been reports of unethical practices, exploitation of surrogate mothers, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy and rackets of intermediaries importing human embryos and gametes. The 228th report of the Law Commission of India also recommended prohibition of commercial surrogacy with a provision of ethical altruistic surrogacy for Indian citizens in need, by enacting a suitable legislation. 

The Bill will regulate surrogacy in India by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level and state surrogacy boards and other appropriate authorities in the states and union territories. The Bill, if passed, will ensure effective regulation of surrogacy. It will benefit Indian married couples who want to avail ethical surrogacy. It will also protect the rights of surrogate mother and children born out of surrogacy. As per the Bill, these regulations will apply to the whole of India, except Jammu and Kashmir. 

The Bill does not propose a structure of implementing bodies. No new posts have been suggested. The proposed legislation is framed in a manner that it ensures effective regulation but does not add to the regulatory structure in place at the central and states level. Thus, there will not be any financial implications of it, except meetings of the national and state surrogacy boards and appropriate authorities. These expenses will be met out of the regular budget of central and state governments.

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