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What is Surrogacy?

The Bill defines surrogacy as a practice where 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."

What does it says about the Regulation of Surrogacy?

The Bill puts a ban on commercial surrogacy, but gives a green signal to  altruistic surrogacy in which there is "no monetary compensation to the surrogate mother other than the medical expenses and insurance coverage during the pregnancy."

Commercial surrogacy is basically carried out for a monetary benefit or reward (in cash or kind) apart from the basic medical expenses and the insurance coverage.

What are the grounds on which Surrogacy is permitted?

It is permitted in the following cases : 

  • For the intending couples who suffer from proven infertility; 
  • Altruistic Surrogacy involving no monetary compensation; 
  • Should not be done for commercial purposes; 
  • Should not be done for producing children for sale, prostitution or other forms of exploitation; and
  • Also for any condition or disease specified through regulations.

Eligibility Criteria?

  • In case of the intending couple, they should possess  a ‘certificate of essentiality’ and a ‘certificate of eligibility’  which should be issued by an appropriate authority.
  • In case of a surrogate mother she should be : 
    • A close relative of the intending couple; 
    • A married woman having a child of her own; 
    • 25 to 35 years old;
    • A surrogate only once in her lifetime; and 
    • Should possess a "certificate of medical and psychological fitness for surrogacy."  
    • Further, the surrogate mother cannot provide her own gametes for surrogacy.

Who could be an Appropriate Authority?

The central and state governments shall appoint one or more appropriate authorities within 90 days of the Bill becoming an Act
The appropriate authority shall perform the following functions :

  • Granting, suspending or cancelling registration of surrogacy clinics;
  • Enforcing standards for surrogacy clinics; 
  • Investigating and taking action against breach of the provisions of the Bill; 
  • Recommending modifications to the rules and regulations.

What are the provisions for the Parenting and the Abortion of the Surrogate Child?

The Surrogate Child will deemed to be the biological child of the intending couple.  In case the couple is intending for the abortion of the surrogate child , they will require the written consent of the surrogate mother and the authorization of the appropriate authority.  

This authorization must be in accordance  with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. Also, the surrogate mother shall have an option to withdraw from surrogacy before the embryo is implanted in her womb.

What about the Offences and penalties? 

The offences under the Bill include: 

  • Undertaking or advertising commercial surrogacy; 
  • Exploitation of the surrogate mother; 
  • Abandoning, exploiting or disowning a surrogate child; and 
  • Selling or importing human embryo or gametes for surrogacy.  
The penalty for such offences is "imprisonment up to 10 years" and a "fine up to 10 lakh rupees." 

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