Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2019 has recently been approved by the cabinet, making a breaking news in hindi and circulating across all popular news portals. The bill plans to establish a National Surrogacy Board at the central level and state surrogacy boards along with empowered authorities across states and UTs.
Bill is designed to ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and unethical surrogacy practices.The bill had been passed earlier by the last Lok Sabha but lapsed after the dissolution of the House.
In recent times surrogacy has increased manifold in the country. Many couples from other countries are choosing India for surrogacy which has made India emerge as a surrogacy hub in the world.
In some cases, due to lack of a robust framework, Surrogate mothers are being exploited, by not paying them well. Children born sometimes are abandoned, and there is an illegal import of embryos by intermediaries.
The 228th report of Commission of India recommends prohibition of commercial surrogacy and practicing altruistic surrogacy under suitable legislation. Altruistic surrogacy involves no monetary compensation to the surrogate mother, other than medical expenses and insurance cover during pregnancy.
With the prohibition of commercial surrogacy, sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes will be curbed. Legal and ethical surrogacy can be carried on under stipulated conditions, like:
Eligibility certificate criteria:
- Couple seeking a child through surrogacy should be an Indian citizen and married for a minimum of 5 years.
- Wife should be between 23 to 50 years, husband between 26 to 55 years of age.
- The couple should not have a surviving child already– biological, adopted or surrogate.
The passing of this bill will hopefully put a stop on the exploitation of surrogate mothers and the child born out of surrogacy. No financial transactions will be involved as it won’t be a commercial surrogacy at all. The only expenditure involved would be on meetings of National at Surrogacy Board and concerned authorities. The expenditure will be taken care of, out of the administrative budget of the respective departments.
Central and State government shall appoint appropriate authorities for carrying out the following duties:
- Granting, suspending or canceling the registration of surrogacy clinic.
- Enforcing standards for surrogacy clinics.
- Investigating and acting against breach of Provision of the bill.
- Recommending modification to rules and regulation.
Violation or acting against the bill shall be treated as an offense, which could include:
- dvertising commercial surrogacy.
- The exploitation of surrogate mother.
- Abandoning, disowning or exploitation of a surrogate child.
- Selling or importing human embryos or gametes for surrogacy.
Penalties levied can be imprisonment up to 10 years and a fine up to 10 lakh rupees. Once the regulation bill comes into the act, many believe that surrogacy shall be regulated effectively, and exploitation of surrogate mothers and child will end.