By Dr. Jameela George
Surrogacy has been a growing industry in India attracting commissioning parents from far and wide. The mushrooming of surrogacy centers over the past few decades has led to India being called the surrogacy hub of the world.
The Surrogacy Bill 2016- legalizes surrogacy for heterosexual couples who have been married for over 5 years and are infertile. The woman has to be between 23-50 years and the husband 26-55 years. It promotes altruistic surrogacy. Only close relatives are permitted to be surrogate.
It bans commercial surrogacy and foreigners including NRIs seeking Indian surrogate mother. Surrogate mother has to be altruistic. You can’t pay a surrogate mother, except for medical bills etc.
Surrogacy will be allowed only once. If you have a surrogate child, you cannot approach a surrogate mother. If a woman has been a surrogate in the past, she cannot do so again.
The Government has proposed National Surrogacy Board and State Surrogacy Board to oversee all cases of surrogacy and to regulate hospitals and clinics that offer this in India.