SURROGACY REGULATION BILL 2016
According to the Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2016, couples should fulfill following criteria before opting for Surrogacy.
- They should be Straight (heterosexual) couples.
- Medically certified as infertile
- Married for at least five years.
Married couples meeting above criteria can opt for surrogacy
It also bans commercial surrogacy therefore only close relatives of the couple can be the surrogate woman, thereby allowing altruistic surrogacy.
Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2016 also contains a provision for imprisonment up to 10 years along with a hefty fine in order to curb exploitation of surrogate mothers, unethical practices, trafficking of women for surrogacy and abandonment of children born out of surrogacy.
LGBT persons — are denied the option of having a child through surrogacy, as per the new draft law.
Other Highlights of the Bill are:
- A child born out of a surrogacy procedure will be deemed to be the biological child of the intending couple.
- For abortion of surrogate child a written consent from the surrogate mother is required along with the authorisation of the appropriate authority.
- Central and state governments will appoint appropriate authorities to grant eligibility certificates to the intending couple and the surrogate mother. These authorities will also regulate surrogacy clinics.
- The surrogate mother and the intending couple need eligibility certificates from the appropriate authority.
- Altruistic surrogacy does not involve any monetary compensation to the surrogate mother other than the medical expenses and insurance coverage during the pregnancy.
What is the eligibility of the surrogate mother
To obtain a certificate of eligibility from the appropriate authority, the surrogate mother should fulfill following criteria:
- To be 25 to 35 years old
- Has to be a close relative of the intending couple
- Have a certificate of medical and psychological fitness
- Be an ever married woman having a child of her own
- Not have been a surrogate mother earlier
Where the bill lacks in its drafting
- Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2016 excluded the live-in couple, same-sex couples and single people.
- The bill talks about “close relative” to be a surrogate mother & so it safely excludes the couples who don’t have a close family unit or family members in it who want to support them in the cause.
As we know that inter-caste and inter-faith couples in India are often not supported by their families for breaking the norms set by the society in which they live..
- As per the new surrogacy bill, LGBT persons, who still don’t have a right to marry, are denied the option of having a child through surrogacy.
- Also, recently passed in Lok Sabha,The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018, don’t mention normal civil rights like marriage, civil partnership, adoption, surrogacy and property rights anywhere. And thus the current surrogacy bill safely excluded Transgendered persons too.
What improvement Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2016 needed
The bill must include same-sex couples, single parents, transgender persons and families with different units as this is their only option to have a children of their own.
The bill doesn’t talks about what is the time period under which the eligibility certificate for surrogacy will be provided by the concerned authorities.
The bill don’t talks about the process of appeal In case the application gets rejected.
Banning commercial surrogacy has its own drawbacks too. Like in the case of organ donation, wherein ‘strangers’ were dressed up as ‘near relatives’. Same can happen in altruistic surrogacy too.
News Source: Indian Express