When a couple cannot have their own baby, they can use surrogacy. According to circlesurrogacy,
Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction where intended parents work with a surrogate mother who will carry and care for their baby until birth.
Several big names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Karan Johar, Shah Rukh Khan, Elton John, Jimmy Fallon, Tusshar Kapoor, Aamir Khan, Ellen Pompeo became parents via surrogacy.
The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, was introduced to ban commercial surrogacy in India. This Bill lapsed due to adjournment sine die of the parliament session. Next, the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019, was reintroduced in Lok Sabha, which was passed but is pending presidential assent.
Following couples are eligible for surrogacy in India as per the 2019 Bill:-
- Couples should be Indian citizens.
- The woman should be of minimum 23 years of age.
- The man should be of minimum 26 years of age.
- Couples who are married for 5 years minimum.
- Couples who are infertile and have procured a certificate of infertility from a registered medical practitioner in India.
- Couples who do not have a biological child of their own or a child with a life-threatening disease having no cure.
- In India, only married couples are eligible for surrogacy, and no unmarried couple, live-in couples, homosexual couples or single parents are allowed to perform surrogacy in India.
Who can be a surrogate?
- Only a married woman can be a surrogate.
- Surrogate should be a relative of intended parents.
- Surrogate should have her own biological child.
- One woman can be a surrogate only once.
The surrogate mother should not be provided with any monetary compensation, and intended parents can provide only medical expenses and medical insurance to the surrogate. Also, the written consent of surrogate mothers during pregnancy is mandatory.
Intended parents are not allowed to abandon their child after delivery due to gender, defect in the child, etc. The child born through surrogacy shall be treated as a natural child under Indian laws. Also, surrogacy can be performed in registered clinics only.
If any of the provisions provided in the bill is contravened, in that case, imprisonment for a minimum of five years or fine up to Rs. 10,00,000 can be imposed.
Ankita Trivedi has written this post. She is a practising advocate in New Delhi, having expertise in various legal fields.