The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 that prohibits commercial surrogacy and allows altruistic surrogacy to needy Indian infertile couples.
Elaborating on the Bill, Union Health Minister JP Nadda said, "This bill protects the dignity of women, economic exploitation and also the interest of the surrogate children who are abandoned."
"The bill allows altruistic surrogacy to the needy Indian infertile couples and it prohibits commercial surrogacy," he added.
Things to know about the new surrogacy legislation
1. The bill proposes a complete ban on commercial surrogacy, but altruistic surrogacy will be allowed for needy infertile couple under strict regulation.
2. The bill entitles only Indian citizens to avail surrogacy. Foreigners, NRIs and PIOs are not allowed to seek surrogacy in the country.
3. Under this bill, homosexuals, single parents, and live-in couples are also not entitled to surrogacy.
4. Couples who already have children will not be allowed to go for surrogacy. However, they would be free to adopt a child under a separate law.
5. The bill allows surrogacy only for legally married couples after five years of marriage and with a doctor's certificate stating that they are medically unfit to reproduce.
6. Women within the age group of 23 to 50 years and men between 26 to 55 years will be eligible to opt for surrogacy.
7. According to a clause mentioned in the Bill, the surrogate mother must be a 'close relative' of the intending couple.
8. Moreover, both the intending couple and the surrogate mother are obliged to take eligibility certificates from the appropriate authority.
9. A woman can be a surrogate only once in her lifetime.
10. The bill proposes to regulate surrogacy by establishing appropriate authorities at the central level and in states and Union Territories (UTs), an official statement said.