Surrogacy Practice in India; A Brief History and Possible Dangers

This article discusses the drawbacks of having weak legislation on surrogacy in India and how that affects the safety of surrogate mothers and the children born out of them. The article also makes suggestions for improvement.

What is surrogacy?

In simple terms, the process of a woman carrying and delivering a child for another couple is called surrogacy. When both of the spouses or either of them are medically unfit to conceive, the couple opts for the surrogacy process. In this process, if the female is unfit then the surrogate is inseminated with the father’s sperm and in case even the father is unfit then a donor’s sperm can be used for the process. There is also another process called Gestational surrogacy, wherein the mother’s egg is fertilized with the father’s or the donor’s sperm and then the embryo is planted in the surrogate’s uterus. Let us discuss surrogacy practice in India.

Why opt for surrogacy?

Couples opt for the surrogacy process when they are unfit to conceive or it is dangerous for the couple to get pregnant and carry the child. There are some medical conditions which are necessary for the couple to opt for surrogacy, such as malformation of or infection in the womb, absence or removal of womb by hysterectomy, recurring miscarriages, repeated failure of IVF or any other condition that makes it impossible or risky for a woman to carry a pregnancy.

Why surrogacy was unregulated in India

India is rising as a pioneer in universal surrogacy and a sought-after destination in surrogacy-related fertility tourism. Indian surrogates have been progressively prevalent with ripe couples in industrialized countries on account of the moderately minimal effort. Indian facilities are in the meantime turning out to be more focused, not simply in the valuing, but rather in the enlisting and maintenance of Indian females as surrogates. Facilities charge patients approximately 33% of the cost compared to the cost in the UK. Surrogacy in India is generally easy and the legal environment was friendly.

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Need for the ban on commercial surrogacy

Commercial surrogacy practice in India was permitted in India since 2002 and has since developed into a monstrous industry inside the medicinal calling. While no clear financial numbers are accessible, The World Bank in 2012 evaluated the surrogacy business in India to be approximately $400 million a year’s worth, with 3,000 fertility centers over India.

However, the legal intricacy with respect to commercial surrogacy was first faced in 2008 when a Japanese couple hired an Indian lady to serve as their surrogate. Be that as it may, before the lady could deliver the child, the couple got divorced. Along these lines the kid, according to law, was conceived parentless and additionally without citizenship. Despite the fact that the baby was at last given over to her grandmother, it opened inquiries regarding the surrogacy practice that had proceeded unabated for various years. These inquiries brought about India’s draft Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill that was affirmed by the Cabinet in August 2016.

The Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2016

The Bill allows only Indian natives to avail the procedure of surrogacy practice in India, while foreign citizens, NRIs, and PIOs are not permitted to look for surrogacy in the nation. Gay couples, single guardians, and live-in couples are additionally kept out of the domain of surrogacy. In addition, couples who already have kids won’t be permitted to opt for surrogacy; however, they would be allowed to embrace a kid under a different law. With no law administering surrogacy, India has risen as a surrogacy center point for couples from various other nations. There have been episodes of untrustworthy practices, misuse of surrogate mothers, and deserting of babies resulting from surrogacy. The bill permits surrogacy only for legally married couples who are at least five years into marriage and have a declaration from a specialist expressing that they are therapeutically unfit to conceive a child. Ladies within the age of 23 years to 50 years and men between age 26 and 55 years will be qualified for surrogacy. To check commercial abuse and middlemen, the surrogate mother must be with a relative, similar to a sister or sister-in-law who is married and has no less than one solid natural kid. Additionally, a female can be a surrogate only once in her lifetime.

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