In a bid to ensure that surrogacy arrangements are done as an “altruistic deed” and not for commercial benefit, the government is planning to keep this substitute arrangement of renting a womb confine
In a bid to ensure that surrogacy arrangements are done as an “altruistic deed” and not for commercial benefit, the government is planning to keep this substitute arrangement of renting a womb confined to the kith, kin and friends. A meeting among the Group of Ministers (GoM), set up at the behest of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has also decided to bar single and gay couples and keep surrogacy eligible only those who are “Indian, married and infertile”.
Further, the GoM has proposed “extra protection” for the surrogate mother through mandatory “insurance cover”. The GoM is likely to table a draft bill in the Cabinet soon.
“The GoM was of the opinion to not extend the network of surrogacy beyond blood relations, family, community, country so as to ban its commercialisation and not let the normal biological function of a woman’s body get into a commercial contract. The draft has been sent to the law ministry for vetting and will soon come in the Cabinet,” sources said. The GoM was set up by the PM after the draft Surrogacy (Regulation) bill was discussed in the Cabinet recently.
“It was opined that singles have an option of adoption, so surrogacy will be allowed only for Indian, married and infertile couples,” sources added.
To safeguard the interests of the surrogate mother, the child and the commissioning parents, the draft spells out the mandatory “health insurance coverage” for the mother throughout the pregnancy and till two months after the delivery.
The draft also invites legal action which includes fine and imprisonment of the prospective parents in case they refuse to accept a baby with health problems or deformity.
“After the GoM discussions, everything has been spelt out elaborately on the insurance cover, the rights of the baby born out of surrogacy etc,” the sources further said.
Drafted in 2007 by the then Congress government- the Assisted Reproductive Technology bill (ART) bill underwent enormous discussions till 2015 has now been narrowed down and will deal with issues related to “surrogacy” only.