Childless couples cannot hire surrogate mothers or ask anyone but close relatives to carry their babies, says a draft law cleared by the Indian government today.
Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External affairs was the head of the Group of Ministers on surrogacy outlining the new proposal that seeks to end the rent-a-womb business that has flourished in India.
Foreigners, expatriate Indians or OCI card holders, single parents, live-in couples and homosexual couples will not be allowed surrogate babies with this new law.
Beyond legal justifications, surrogacy can only be seen as a by-product of economic disparity. You may say that for India, it is no different than IT outsourcing.
The new bill on surrogacy cleared by the cabinet bans being able to hire a woman to carry a baby. Commercial arrangements cannot be entered, though “altruistic surrogacy” can be arranged with close relatives if couples have been married for at least five years and have no other children. The new guidelines state that surrogacy will not be available to homosexuals, single people or foreigners.
Foreigners, expatriate Indians, single parents, live-in couples and homosexual couples will not be allowed surrogate babies after the new law is passed in parliament.
“Couple should be married and for at least five years,” said Ms Swaraj. She added that surrogacy will not be allowed if the couple has children.
The government’s move means that no one can emulate celebrity examples like Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan – who had surrogate babies after two children – or even Tusshar Kapoor, who became a single father.
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Shah Rukh Khan’s youngest child AbRam was born through surrogacy in May 2013.
Without taking names, Ms Swaraj commented that “celebrities are having surrogate babies, in spite of having two children, they had a third, just because the wife couldn’t take the pain, and got someone else to bear their child.”
Ms Swaraj said it had been decided that foreigners would not be allowed to have surrogate babies from India, not even overseas Indians. “We have had cases of girls being abandoned, a twin being left behind and disabled babies being rejected,” the minister explained.
The draft bill, which aims at protecting the rights of surrogate mothers, will be introduced in parliament in the winter session.
#surrogacy should not be a fashion because some1 has billions of money; it should be nly 4 medical reasons, when some1 cant be mom naturally
— Sucharita Dola Mitra (@dolamitra) August 24, 2016
ndtv: Celebrities who despite having not one but two children – a son and a daughter, went ahead for third child through #surrogacy: Sushma…
— Suresh Yallapragada (@localdesktop) August 24, 2016
Big celebrities who do not only have one but two children, a son and a daughter, even then they went ahead with #surrogacy: Sushma Swaraj
— India TV (@indiatvnews) August 24, 2016