The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 passed in Lok Sabha Wednesday allows only altruistic surrogacy by infertile Indian couples, legally married for at least five years. Surrogacy is an arrangement where a couple commissions a woman (called a surrogate) to carry their child.
The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016: All you need to know
* According to the bill, only childless couples, legally married for at least five years, are allowed to commission surrogacy, from a woman who is a “close relative” of the couple. Singles or those in a homosexual relationship cannot apply for surrogacy. The child, thus born, will be deemed to be the legal offspring of the intended couple.
*As the bill restricts surrogacy by only a “close relative”, couples who do not have a large “close” family — or members in it who might be willing to be surrogates for them — cannot have a baby through surrogacy. The only available option for them will then be adoption.
*Only a married blood relative, who must have herself borne a child, and is not an NRI or a foreigner, can be a surrogate mother, that too once in a lifetime.
*The bill aims to shut down surrogacy shops, allowing only altruistic surrogacy, meaning that apart from the basic costs incurred in the process of childbirth, no other gratification (in cash or kind) shall be paid to the surrogate mother. It bans commercial surrogacy that allows compensation, exceeding the medical expenses of childbirth, to be paid to the surrogate mother.
*According to the bill, foreign nationals will not be allowed to apply for surrogacy in India, making it exclusively for Indian citizens, in accordance with the provisions.
*On August 24, 2017, the Union Cabinet approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016. The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in November 2016 and was later referred to a parliamentary standing committee on Health and Family Welfare in January 2017.
*Once enacted by Parliament, the National Surrogacy Board will be constituted at the central level, while the states and Union Territories will constitute the State Surrogacy Boards and State Appropriate Authorities within three months of the notification by the Central Government.