Indian Surrogacy Law 2014
Commercial surrogacy is deemed legal in India since 2002. There is no codified surrogacy law in India as the ART Bill is yet to be passed in Parliament. Indian surrogacy laws are based on the Assisted Reproductive Technology Clinic Guidelines.
Recently, some remarks and explanations were released by the Indian Council of Medical Research in connection with the Law Commission’s report on the subject of Indian surrogacy which are summarized below.
* It is mandatory for both, the couple seeking surrogacy as well as the surrogate mother to enter into an agreement that is legally enforceable.
* The Indian surrogacy guidelines also permit the surrogate mother to receive monetary compensation from the commissioning couple for agreeing to act as surrogate.
* All expenses, including insurance, for the duration of pregnancy as well as the delivery in relation to the surrogacy should be borne by the couple commissioning surrogacy.
* The surrogate mother has no parental rights over the baby. The birth certificate will bear the name of the persons who commissioned the surrogacy.
* The surrogate mother must be aged between 23 and 35 years and married. Additionally, she must have a living child that is at least three years old. She can opt to be a surrogate mother only once in her lifetime.
* Surrogate mothers will be subject to various medical tests for diseases as may be prescribed so as not to endanger the health of the child.
* All information about the Indian Surrogate mother and surrogacy shall be kept confidential.
* The couple availing the services of a surrogate is bound legally to accept the child’s custody irrespective of any deformity or abnormality it might be born with.
The Indian Surrogate Baby Boom
India is a popular surrogacy destination for foreign couples who seek to become parents through assisted reproductive technology due to the affordable costs and relaxed legal environment. Few years ago, the Supreme Court also gave a legal sanction to commercial surrogacy when it permitted foreigners to leave India with their surrogate children. Worldwide however, commercial surrogacy is condemned for various socio-ethical reasons and few countries recognize or give it legal sanction.
Current Status on the Indian Surrogacy Law in 2014
The Indian government has now tightened visa regulations for foreign couples desirous of commissioning surrogacy. They can no longer travel on a tourist visa for the purpose; the appropriate category is a medical visa. In fact, going a step further, the government has barred surrogacy for foreigners.
At an inter-ministerial meeting held on March 6, 2014, it was decided to ban foreigners from entering into surrogacy agreements with Indian Surrogacy till such time as the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill 2013 was passed. The Government wants to limit surrogacy to infertile Indian married couples.