New surrogacy Bill bars married couples with kids, NRIs, gays, live-ins, foreigners

The government on Wednesday approved a bill that bans commercial surrogacy, and bars single people, married couples who have biological/ adopted children, live-in partners and homosexuals from opting for surrogacy.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: August 25, 2016 10:49 am
surrogacy bill, ban on commercial surrogacy, surrogacy, sushma swaraj, latest news, surrogacy news External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said foreigners, NRIs and PIOs who hold Overseas Citizens of India cards have been barred from opting for surrogacy as “divorces are very common in foreign countries.” (Express File Photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

THE GOVERNMENT on Wednesday approved a Bill that bans commercial surrogacy, and bars married couples who have biological or adopted children, single people, live-in partners and homosexuals from opting for surrogacy.

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, cleared by the Cabinet, only allows “altruistic surrogacy” for childless couples who have been married for at least five years. Then too, the surrogate mother should be a “close relative” of the couple, should be married and have borne a child of her own.

Briefing the press after the Cabinet meeting, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said foreigners, NRIs and PIOs who hold Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards have also been barred from opting for surrogacy as “divorces are very common in foreign countries”.

G1

Swaraj headed the Group of Ministers (GoM) who finalised the Bill in its current form, dealing solely with surrogacy — in contrast to another Bill, which the department of health research has been working on for years now, seeking to regulate all aspects of assisted reproductive practices. There are enough regulations on IVF, Swaraj said.

New surrogacy Bill bars single parents, homosexuals, live-in couples, foreigners married woman who has at least one child of her own can be a surrogate mother only once in her lifetime. Childless or unmarried women are not allowed to be surrogate mothers.

Without taking any names, Swaraj said it was “unfortunate” that couples, who already have a son and a daughter of their own, opt for surrogacy “just because it is fashionable”.

Replying to a question, she said: “We do not recognise homosexual or live-in relationships, that is why they are not allowed to commission babies through surrogacy. It is against our ethos.”

Watch VideoGovt Moves To Ban Commercial Surrogacy: What It Means

 

The Bill, which borrows heavily from UK’s altruistic surrogacy Bill, has changed the British provision of allowing only blood relatives to “close relatives”, a term that will be further elaborated in the rules.

“In commercial surrogacy, one would just pay the surrogate mother and ensure that the mother and baby never come in touch. But in this case it is an open thing, there are no ethical issues. The child would know who the biological mother is because it is a close relative,” said Swaraj. In the absence of close relatives, the couple should opt for adoption, she said.

“The reason we have not allowed a couple with a biological or adopted child to commission another baby through surrogacy is because there is bound to be discrimination, if not at the time of bringing up the child, then certainly when the question of property arises,” Swaraj said.

The Bill requires all surrogacy clinics to be registered. Clinics can charge for the services rendered in the course of surrogacy, but the surrogate mother cannot be paid. National and state surrogacy boards will be the regulating authorities.

ALSO READ: What is surrogacy? Everything you need to know

Commercial surrogacy, abandoning the surrogate child, exploitation of surrogate mother, selling/ import of human embryo have all been deemed as violations that are punishable by a jail term of at least 10 years and a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh. Clinics have to maintain records of surrogacy for 25 years. The rights of the surrogate child will be the same as that of a biological child.

Meanwhile, Swaraj’s dismissal of homosexuality, though in line with the Supreme Court’s order upholding Section 377 criminalising gay sex, is at odds with the opinion of her cabinet colleague Arun Jaitley. “When you have millions of people involved in this (gay sex), you can’t nudge them off… Jurisprudence world over is evolving, I think the judgment was not correct and, probably at some stage, they may have to reconsider,” Jaitley had said earlier.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. R
    Rorie
    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:34 pm
    Recently a very close friend left me a lengthy voice mail after she returned from her honeymoon. In a whirlwind year she had finally met the world’s most amazing man and married him in a surprise ceremony after a storybook nine month courtship. She breathlessly recounted the events of the honeymoon and then got right down to business. “We want to have a baby,” she said. I should also mention that like me, my friend is in her mid-forties. She’s an educated, technology-savvy professional. I immediately realized that our next conversation would be a difficult one. To my surprise she came to me prepared. There weren’t any talks about regrets about childless lifestyle or illusion. She wanted to consult with me about reproductive center to choose. After fundamental research we stop on Ukraine. As all procedures works on legal basis plus we found clinic with the most controversial reviews biotex in Kiev. They traveled to Ukraine to have a consultation. They attended three clinics but only in one it was for free. Appears that is the most scandalous clinic offers the best service. So with husband they sign contract on surrogacy all-inclusive package. Now they are expecting baby.
    Reply
    1. M
      Manoj kumar
      Mar 3, 2017 at 11:11 am
      I liked the content.i was expecting it to be more informative.
      Reply
      1. J
        Joyce Abrahamson
        Aug 24, 2016 at 10:08 pm
        India - "The Andhra Pradesh adoption scandals focused on suions of irregularities in a Christian orphanage called Action for Social Development. Children for whose adoptions the American emby granted visas and allowed to travel to the United States since they were by Christian agency for Christian parents as part of missionary conversion program. So much for a secular America.
        Reply
        1. J
          Joyce Abrahamson
          Aug 24, 2016 at 9:11 pm
          The law was written to prevent misuse of it by Christian missionaries.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;New Life Children’s Refuge case. In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, ten Baptist missionaries are arrevsted and charged with kidnapping. The group had gathered 33 children in devastated areas and intended to move them to a temporary orphanage in the Dominican Republic. The Christian missionaries did not have proper authorization to take the children out of Haiti. It later became clear that most of the children were not orphaned and we're going to be abused.
          Reply
          1. J
            Jhoota Paki
            Aug 24, 2016 at 10:02 pm
            Stop spreading false allegations and basing on Outlook. Remember a guy who kiIIed himself while depending on tax payers money still in University at the age of 29 never planning to graduate? This was just like more suicides or kiIIings on the same day in a vast country India. But you and your Outlook with Commies and Kachoriwal and Pappu all jumped called it Dalit, blamed the HRD minister and everyone. Why didn't Kachoriwal attend every suicide on that day or anuwayd? So if your source is outlook only God the real messiah can help this country.
            Reply
            1. A
              Anand
              Aug 24, 2016 at 9:08 pm
              You don't make any sense. Go back to your church. The Christian missionary padre is waiting for you. Remember you cannot make him wait for too long.
              Reply
              1. H
                Harsh
                Aug 26, 2016 at 4:14 pm
                The bill seems flawed.
                Reply
                1. H
                  Harsh
                  Aug 26, 2016 at 4:15 pm
                  With fake Christian names and then condemning Christianity openly, the only thing RSS does is hypocrisy.
                  Reply
                  1. Load More Comments