Lok Sabha passes Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill

  1. The Lok Sabha has passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019. The bill aims to regulate the practice and process of surrogacy in India.
  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. It defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to a child for an eligible couple and agrees to hand over the child to them after the birth.
  4. It allows altruistic surrogacy. 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.
  5. The bill prohibits commercial surrogacy which includes compensation (in cash or kind) paid to the surrogate mother, which exceeds the reasonable medical expenses associated with the pregnancy.
  6. The bill mentions that the couple intending to commission a surrogacy arrangement must be a close relative of the surrogate mother. The surrogate mother has to married with a child of her own, in the age bracket of 25 to 35 years old, and should not have been a surrogate mother before.
  7. Further, the couple should be Indian citizens who have been married for at least five years and are in the age group of 23-50 years (female partner) and 26-55 years (male partner). They also need secure a medical certificate stating that either or both partners are infertile
  8. The couple also should not have any surviving child (whether biological, adopted or surrogate), except if the surviving child is mentally or physically challenged or suffers from a fatal illness.
  9. The bill states any child born out of a surrogacy procedure shall be the biological child of the intending couple. Also, the child will be entitled to all rights and privileges that are available to a natural child
  10. 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.