Govt set to allow visas to singles too for surrogacy

The current law allows only married couples to apply for visas on this ground.

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Published:May 28, 2013 1:30 am

Easing the surrogacy norms for foreigners,the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has proposed that besides married couples,individuals — whether male or female — should also be allowed visas for the purpose. The current law allows only married couples to apply for visas on this ground.

However,foreign nationals will have to obtain medical visas for the purpose of surrogacy. They cannot use tourist visas.“The new rules will,however,continue to bar gay or lesbian couples from hiring surrogate mothers in India. But one of the partners,either male or female,can get a medical visa. They can visit India for a period of one year,which can be extended by another six months,” said a senior official. Couples have to be married for at least two years before qualifying for such visas.

At the time of seeking their “exit permit” from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO),all foreign nationals who take surrogate children from India will have to undergo DNA tests. “It is important to establish a genetic link through the DNA test,” says the ministry’s draft proposal.

The amendments are likely to be cleared after Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde returns from the US.

The MHA has also proposed that such foreigners should submit an undertaking at the Indian embassy or mission in their respective countries stating that the surrogate child born in India will be granted nationality of that country.

“To provide proper care and safety of the baby born from surrogacy and fair treatment to the mother,we have suggested a few amendments at the time of granting visas. The hospitals or clinics where such surrogacy is being performed must be recognised by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),” said a top MHA official.

The foreign applicants will also be required to submit a letter from the embassy of their country in India or their foreign minister stating that the country recognises surrogacy and the child to be born through the Indian surrogate mother will be permitted entry to their country as a biological child of the couple or individual commissioning the surrogacy. They must also furnish an undertaking stating that they will take care of the child.

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