The Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2019 – Passed in India: Know The Changes
Two important bills are recently passed by parliament for Surrogacy and Fertility Treatments; The Surrogacy (Reproduction) Bill-2019 and The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation)-2020
The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill-2019 has passed by Rajya Sabha on 8th December,2021 where it has defined surrogacy as a practice whereby one woman bears and gives birth to a child for an intending couple with the intention of handing over such child to the intending couple after the birth.
What This Bill Proposes?
The Surrogacy Bill-2019 has disclosed certain changes concerning with surrogacy;
- – Regulation of surrogacy and surrogacy procedures
- – Eligibility criteria for intended couple
- – Eligibility criteria for surrogate mother
- – Prohibition to abandon child born through surrogacy
- – Prohibition of abortion
- – Offences & Penalties
When Can surrogacy be conducted or permitted?
No surrogacy or surrogacy procedures shall be conducted except for the following purposes,
- – For intended couples who are suffering from proven infertility
- – Allowed for altruistic surrogacy only i.e., the surrogacy in which no charges, expenses, fees, remuneration or monetary incentive of whatever nature, except the medical expenses incurred on surrogate mother and the insurance coverage for the surrogate mother, are given to the surrogate mother or her dependents or her representative
- – Permitted when obtained written consent of the surrogate mother
- – Only permitted, when surrogate is from close relatives of intending couple
- – For any condition or disease specified through regulations
When is surrogacy prohibited?
No surrogacy or surrogacy procedures shall be conducted for following purposes,
- – It is prohibited for commercialization or commercial purpose i.e., procedures including selling or buying of human embryo or trading in the sale or purchase of human embryo or gametes or selling or buying or trading the services of surrogate motherhood by way of giving payment, reward, benefit, fees, remuneration or monetary incentive in cash or kind
- – Prohibited for producing children for sale, prostitution or any other form of exploitation
- – It excludes surrogacy for single men, foreign nationals and foreign couples
Eligibility criteria for intended couples:
As per the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill-2019, intending couples need to fulfill below condition to have a child through surrogacy,
They must have a ‘certificate of essentiality’ and a ‘certificate of eligibility’ issued by the appropriate authority.
- Certificate of essentiality
- – A certificate of proven infertility in favor of either or both members of the intending couple from a District Medical Board
- – An order of the parentage and custody of the child to be born via surrogacy, has been passed by a court of the Magistrate’s court
- – Insurance coverage for 16 months which covers postpartum delivery complications for surrogate
- Certificate of eligibility
- – Intending couple must be Indian citizens and are married for at least 5 years
- – Wife: 23-50 years and husband: 26-55 years
- – Intending couple do not have any surviving child biological or via adoption or surrogacy excluding a child and who is mentally or physically challenged or suffers from life threatening disorder or fatal illness with no permanent cure
- – Other conditions as may be specified by the regulations
Who can be a surrogate mother?
As mentioned in the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill-2019, a woman needs to satisfy the below conditions to be a surrogate mother,
- – She must be from the close relatives of the intending couple
- – Must be married
- – She must have a child of her own
- – Her age must be between 25 to 35 years on the day of implantation
- – She can only be a surrogate for once in her life
- – Surrogate mother cannot provide her own gametes for surrogacy
- – She must have a certificate of medical and psychological fitness for surrogacy
Prohibition to abandon child born via surrogacy:
- – The intending couple shall not abandon the child born through surrogacy procedure, whether within India or outside, for any reason whatsoever, including but not restricted to, any genetic defect, birth defect, any other medical condition, the defects developing subsequently, sex of the child or conception of more than one baby
- – Provided that any child born through surrogacy procedure shall be considered a biological child of the intending couple and the said child shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges available to a natural child under any law for time being in force
Prohibitions of abortion:
- – No person, organization, surrogacy clinic, laboratory or clinical establishment of any kind shall force the surrogate mother to abort at any stage of surrogacy
- – An abortion of the surrogate child requires the written consent of the surrogate mother and the authorization of the appropriate authority
- – The surrogate mother will have an option to withdraw her consent for surrogacy before the embryo is implanted in her womb.
Offences and Penalties:
|Offences||Penalties and Punishments|
|Undertaking or advertising commercial surrogacy||Imprisonment for 10 years and fine up to 10 lakhs|
|Abandoning, disowning or exploiting the child born out of surrogacy||Imprisonment for 10 years and fine up to 10 lakhs|
|Exploitation of surrogate mother||Imprisonment for 10 years and fine up to 10 lakhs|
|Selling, importing or trading in human embryos or gametes for the purpose of surrogacy||Imprisonment for 10 years and fine up to 10 lakhs|
|Gender selection||Imprisonment for 10 years and fine up to 10 lakhs|
|Any medical practitioner who commits any offense||Imprisonment for 5 years and fine up to 10 lakhs|
|If subsequent offenses are reported by the same person||He shall be reported by the appropriate authority to the State Medical Council concerned for taking necessary action including suspension of registration for a period of five years|
|Any couple who takes initiative for commercial surrogacy||Imprisonment for 5 years and fine up to 5 lakhs|
|Any subsequent offenses by same couple||Imprisonment for 10 years and fine up to 10 lakhs|
This article has contained all the amendments in the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill-2019. Going through this article, will help you to be aware of all the mandatory things when you are planning to have a child through surrogacy.