Cabinet clears bill banning commercial surrogacy

Raj Kamal RaoVishal Dahiya
Sushma Swaraj Press Conference on Surrogacy Bill

Sushma Swaraj Press Conference on Surrogacy Bill

Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the draft bill which bans commercial surrogacy in India.

As per the draft bill only altruistic surrogacy is allowed after prior certification from doctor.

In altruistic surrogacy, the surrogate is given no financial gain for carrying a child and the surrogate mother will be a close relative of the couple going for surrogacy.

Speaking at the press briefing Union External Affairs Minister Swaraj said that bill has been brought in to prevent exploitation of women, especially those in rural and tribal areas.

Swaraj, who headed the Group of Ministers on the Bill said that government is very serious on clinics playing with lives poor women in the name of surrogacy.

Sushma said more than 2000 unregistered clinics are operating in India and are spoiling the live of many women.

“This has become a trade. We want to curb this menace. Government imposes ban on commercial surrogacy. Altruistic surrogacy is allowed but with proper license, surrogate clinics must have infrastructure to safeguard and protect surrogate mothers and newly born kids,” Said Sushma

As per the draft bill, any violation to the provisions will attract a jail term of not less than ten years and a fine of rupees ten lakh or more.

The approved draft Surrogacy Bill, 2016 aims at regulating commissioning of surrogacy in the country in a proper manner. it proposes to give all the rights of a biological child to the child born to a surrogate mother.

“Unmarried couples, single parents, live-in partners and homosexuals cannot opt for surrogacy as per the new bill,” said Swaraj

As per the draft bill, a woman can be a surrogate mom only once in her life time. The surrogate women must be married and must be a mother of one child.

CabinetCouple or parents going for surrogacy must be legally married and must possess a medical certificate confirming their unfitness.

Only close relatives will be allowed to go for surrogacy. Surrogate kids will have all the rights of regular kids.

The Bill makes a provision to establish National Surrogacy board which will be headed by the Union Health Minister as Chairman. Board will have three women members of Parliament to monitor the activities.

A Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Sushma Swaraj had recently cleared the bill. Apart from Health Minister J P Nadda, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal were among that part of the GoM.

The government had recently admitted that in the absence of a statutory mechanism to control commissioning of surrogacy at present, there have been cases of pregnancies by way of surrogacy, including in rural and tribal areas, leading to possible exploitation of women by unscrupulous elements.

The government had recently said in Parliament that provisions are being made in the draft Bill to make parentage of children born out of surrogacy “legal and transparent.”