Surrogacy: Regulation in India and the world | UPSC Notes

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Surrogacy: Regulation in India and the world

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) 

Bill 2017 

ART refers to all techniques that attempt to obtain a pregnancy by handling the sperm or the egg outside the human body and transferring the gamete or the embryo into the reproductive tract of a woman. eg. IVF, Test-tube baby, Surrogacy 

==> Such a child born through ART will have equal legal rights wrt any naturally born child.

List of amendments — whole bunch !!

By Health Ministry

Key Provisions — 

  1. Setting up of National and State Board for ART — advice, monitor, code of conduct, min. standards and physical req.
  2. Setting up of National Registry — central database of ART clinics 
  3. Offences and Penalty — in case of abandoning the child born out of ART, trading embryo 
  4. Predetermination of sex and sex selection is strictly prohibited 
  5. Confidentiality of Information 

Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019

Rajya Sabha recommended to widen the scope of this Bill to include any willing woman, instead of only ‘close relative’ to become a surrogate mother. It has also recommended to waive-off the 5 year waiting period for any married couple to go for surrogacy, if it is medically certified that the woman cannot conceive.

Key Provisions 

  1. Complete ban on commercial surrogacy in any form. A woman cannot be paid money for renting her womb.5 years prison.
    • She can can given all the hospital expenses and an insurance
  2. Only Altruistic Surrogacy can be allowed where the surrogate mother has to be a close relative of the family.
    • Woman must be —
      1. Married with her own child 
      2. 25-35 years of age 
  3. Who can go for surrogate child?
    1. Childless married couple | Man (26-55 years) and Woman (23-55 yrs) 
    2. They should have tried to have a baby for at least 5 years 
    3. There should not be any biological or adopted child of their own by then. Only exception is given in case of a terminally ill child which no permanent cure available presently. 
  4. Bill forbids the surrogate mother to give gametes of her own and she can also withdraw before the embryo is implanted.
  5. All the surrogacy clinics have to be registered with the government. 
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Why do we needed such bill?

  1. Exploitation of women in the name of surrogacy | restriction on freedom of movement as they are confined in hostels in the pregnancy period 
  2. Over-commercialisation by the women as a method to earn money — put danger to her own health and is unethical. 
  3. Law commission also called for a total ban on commercial surrogacy.
  4. Most of the nations have banned commercial surrogacy — only allowed in Russia, Ukraine 

What is the way forward?

  1. There is no provision for surrogacy for live-in couples, divorcee, widows — they have been recognised by the SC and should be the beneficiaries of this Bill. 
  2. Purely altruistic surrogacy is an extreme act, there has to be some benefit for the surrogate mother which act as a motivation to take up this painful task. Altruistic surrogacy is demanding too much high expectations from the women. 
  3. Altruistic surrogacy should be replaced by ‘Compensated Surrogacy’.