Cabinet clears Bill that bars commercial surrogacy

  1. The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019. The Bill had been passed by the last Lok Sabha but lapsed after dissolution of the House.
  2. The objectives of the bill are to: a) ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, b) prohibit commercial surrogacy and c) allow ethical altruistic surrogacy to the needy infertile Indian couples on fulfilment of conditions
  3. The bill also prohibits exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy.
  4. The Bill proposes to regulate surrogacy in India by establishing a National Surrogacy Board at the central level and state surrogacy boards and appropriate authorities in the state and Union Territories
  5. The 228th report of the Commission of India has recommended prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing altruistic surrogacy by enacting suitable legislation.
  6. Surrogacy is the practice whereby one woman carries the child for another with the intention that the child should be handed over after birth
  7. Altruistic surrogacy involves an arrangement where the couple does not pay the surrogate mother any compensation other than the medical and insurance expenses related to the pregnancy
  8. Commercial surrogacy includes compensation (in cash or kind) paid to the surrogate mother, which exceeds the reasonable medical expenses associated with the pregnancy