Cabinet approves introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016

The Union Cabinet has on 24th August 2016 given its approval for introduction of the “Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016” (”Bill”). The Bill will regulate surrogacy in India by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level and State Surrogacy Boards and appropriate authorities in the State and Union Territories. The Bill shall apply to whole of India, except the state of Jammu and Kashmir. 

The salient features of the Bill are detailed below:

  1. Ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples.
  2. All infertile Indian married couple who want to avail ethical surrogacy will be benefited.
  3. Rights of surrogate mother and children born out of surrogacy will be protected.
  4. Commercial surrogacy will be prohibited including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes and ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples will be allowed on fulfillment of certain conditions and for specific purposes.
  5. Control the unethical practices in surrogacy, prevent commercialization of surrogacy and prohibit potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy.
  6. Bars married couples who have biological or adopted children, single people, live-in partners, foreigners and homosexuals from opting for surrogacy.
  7. Married woman who has at least one child of her own can be a surrogate mother only once in her lifetime. Childless or unmarried women are not allowed to be surrogate mothers.

The proposed legislation, while covering an important area is framed in such a manner that it ensures effective regulation but does not address the needs of the present day modern society.

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