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India's Surrogacy Bill

India’s Surrogacy Bill: A Path to Parenthood or a Barrier to Hope?

| 16 Nov 2023 | 64578 Views |

Introduction

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act of 2022: Shaping the Future of Family Building

In the ever-evolving landscape of reproductive technology, the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act of 2022 has emerged as a pivotal piece of legislation, stirring conversations across the nation. This groundbreaking bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 18, 2022, aims to breathe order into India’s surrogacy realm, which has long operated in a largely unregulated sphere.

Unraveling the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2022

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2022, offers a comprehensive framework to oversee surrogacy arrangements in India. Let’s delve into its key provisions:

1. Defining Surrogacy: The bill categorizes surrogacy as “the implantation of an embryo created using the gametes of an intended couple or a single intended parent into the womb of a surrogate mother.” A surrogate mother is defined as “a woman who willingly carries and delivers a child for an intended couple or a single intended parent.”

2. A Ban on Commercial Surrogacy: One of the most notable aspects of the bill is its prohibition of commercial surrogacy. This practice, involving the payment of surrogate mothers for their services, will be a thing of the past.

3. Eligibility Criteria: The bill paves the path to parenthood exclusively for heterosexually married Indian citizens who can demonstrate infertility. Additionally, surrogate mothers must be aged between 25 and 35, and they must have a husband and at least one child of their own.

4. Pre-Surrogacy Counseling: Prior to commencing the surrogacy journey, the intended couple and the surrogate mother are required to participate in a series of counseling sessions. These sessions encompass the physical, emotional, and legal aspects of surrogacy, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the process.

5. The Surrogacy Board: To oversee and regulate the surrogacy industry, the bill establishes a Surrogacy Board. This body will be responsible for issuing surrogacy licenses, monitoring surrogacy clinics, and addressing any grievances that may arise.

Key Features of the Bill

In a nutshell, the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2022, introduces several key features:

  • Prohibition of commercial surrogacy.
  • Limitation of surrogacy to heterosexually married Indian couples with proven infertility.
  • Mandatory counseling sessions for both intended couples and surrogate mothers.
  • Establishment of a dedicated Surrogacy Board for oversight and regulation.

Benefits of Altruistic Surrogacy

Altruistic surrogacy, where women carry a child for others without financial compensation, holds significant advantages:

  • It offers a ray of hope for infertile couples, granting them the chance to experience parenthood.
  • Altruistic surrogacy often proves to be a more cost-effective alternative compared to other assisted reproductive technologies.
  • The process fosters profound emotional connections between surrogate mothers and intended parents.

Potential Concerns about the Bill

While the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2022, marks a significant step forward, it has not escaped criticism:

  • Some argue that the bill’s restrictions may limit access to surrogacy for many couples.
  • Concerns persist regarding whether the bill provides sufficient safeguards for surrogate mothers.
  • Legal experts raise questions about the constitutionality of certain provisions.

In Conclusion

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2022, presents a multifaceted and contentious topic that requires a deep understanding for a comprehensive viewpoint. As it evolves and matures, it holds the potential to reshape the landscape of surrogacy in India.

FAQs

Only heterosexually married Indian couples with proven infertility are eligible.

Surrogate mothers must be between 25 and 35 years old.

No, the bill does not extend surrogacy rights to same-sex couples.

No, the bill strictly prohibits commercial surrogacy.

The Surrogacy Board is responsible for issuing licenses, monitoring clinics, and addressing complaints related to surrogacy.

Yes, both the intended couple and the surrogate mother must undergo counseling sessions before proceeding with surrogacy.

No, the bill excludes single men from accessing surrogacy.

The bill does not specify age restrictions for intended parents.

The bill does not explicitly mention a limit on surrogacy cycles.

The bill aims to regulate and oversee surrogacy arrangements in India, ensuring ethical practices and safeguarding the interests of all parties involved.

About The Author
Dr. Richika Sahay

MBBS (Gold Medalist), DNB (Obst & Gyne), MNAMS, MRCOG (London-UK), Fellow IVF, Fellow MAS, Infertility (IVF) Specialist & Gynae Laparoscopic surgeon,[Ex AIIMS & Sir Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi]. Read more

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