The Union Cabinet, cleared the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, banning commercial surrogacy in India.
The Bill also bars foreigners, homosexual couples, people in live-in relationships and single individuals, making only childless, straight Indian couple married for a minimum of five years eligible for surrogacy.
The Bill approved on Wednesday will apply to the whole of India, except Jammu and Kashmir.
Further, the new Bill mandates that women acting as surrogates can do so only once. And all Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) clinics will be registered.
Key aspects of the Bill
1. The draft surrogacy Bill aims at regulating commissioning of surrogacy in the country in a proper manner.
2. As per the 2009 Law Commission Report, the artificial reproduction treatment industry is Rs. 25,000 crore industry.
3. The Bill aims to prevent exploitation of women, especially those in rural and tribal areas.
4. The Bill promises to ensure parentage of children born out of surrogacy is “legal and transparent.”
5. The new Bill proposes complete ban on commercial surrogacy.
6. As per the Bill, only legally-wedded Indian couples can have children through surrogacy, provided at least one of them have been proven to have fertility-related issues.
7. Foreigners, even Overseas Indians, are barred from commissioning surrogacy.
8. A woman will be allowed to become a surrogate mother only for altruistic purpose and under no circumstances money shall be paid to her, except for medical expenses.
9. Unmarried couples, single parents, live-in partners and homosexuals cannot opt for surrogacy as per the new bill.
10. Surrogacy regulation board will be set-up at Central and State-level.