Author Name: Dr. Shalini Dwivedi || Mentor Name: Dr. Satish Londhe on April 11, 2020

Surrogacy is when a woman gives birth to a child for an intending couple with the intention to hand over the child after the birth to the intending couple.

In India the Surrogacy(Regulation) Bill,2019 was Introduced by the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan in Lok Sabha on July 15,2019. A child born out of a surrogacy procedure will be deemed to be the biological child of the intending couple… Further, the surrogate mother will have an option to withdraw from surrogacy before the embryo is implanted in her womb.

In India commercial surrogacy is prohibited and altruistic surrogacy is allowed. Altruistic surrogacy allows medical expenses and insurance coverage during the pregnancy to the surrogate. Commercial surrogacy includes surrogacy or related procedures undertaken for a monetary benefit or reward (in cash or kind) exceeding the basic medical expenses and insurance coverage.

Surrogacy is permitted for intending couples who suffer from proven infertility; (ii) altruistic; (iii) not for commercial purposes; (iv) not for producing children for sale, prostitution or other forms of exploitation; and (v) for any condition or disease specified through regulations. The intending couple should have a ‘certificate of essentiality and a ‘certificate of eligibility’ issued by the appropriate authority.

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ESSENTIALITY CRITERIA:

• Certificate of proven infertility of one or both members of the intending couple from a District Medical Board
• An order of parentage and custody of the surrogate child passed by a Magistrate’s court.
• Insurance coverage for a period of 16 months covering postpartum delivery complications for the surrogate.

Eligibility Criteria:
• Indian citizens with 5 years of marriage.
• Age between 23-50 for wife, husband 26-55 years.
• With no surviving child.

Certificate of Eligibility is obtained:
• Surrogate should be a close relative of the intending couple.
• Married and having at least one child.
• Certificate of mental and psychological fitness required.

Registration of Surrogacy Clinic:
• It should be registered NATIONAL SURROGACY BOARD SHALL CONSTITUTE OD THE STATE AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT:
• Board advises central government on policy related matters.
• Code of Conduct of surrogacy clinic.
• Supervision of state Surrogacy Board.

Offences and Penalties:
• Undertaking or advertising of commercial surrogacy.
• Exploitation of surrogate mother.
• A surrogate child getting exploited abandoned and discovered.
• Certain embryo and garre’s getting sold and imported for surrogacy.

THE PENALTY FOR SUCH OFFENCES IS IMPRISONMENT UPTO 10 YEARS AND A FINE UP TO 10 LAKH RUPEES.

INDIA’S SURROGACY BILL:

1. Commercial surrogacy banned
2. Foreigners cannot use surrogates
3. Surrogacy is only for infertile couples married for five years
4. Participants can only approach close relatives for surrogacy
5. Couples can only use surrogacy once
6. Homosexuals cannot use surrogates

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