The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill was discussed and passed in Lok Sabha today. This Bill, which regulates surrogacy practice in India, was introduced in Lok Sabha in 2016. It was sent to a Standing Committee for further recommendations in 2017.
The discussion included official amendments made to certain provisions of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill. These include: i) the surrogate mother cannot provide her own gametes for surrogacy ii) the insurance coverage for the surrogate mother will have to be provided for a period of 16 months covering postpartum delivery complications. iii) the appropriate authority will have to grant or reject applications filed by intending couples for ‘certificate of essentiality’ and a ‘certificate of eligibility’ within a period of 90 days.
Some key highlights of the Bill include:
- Surrogacy is an arrangement whereby an intending couple commissions a surrogate mother to carry their child.
- The intending couple must be Indian citizens and married for at least five years with at least one of them being infertile. The surrogate mother has to be a close relative who has been married and has had a child of her own.
- No payment other than reasonable medical expenses can be made to the surrogate mother. The surrogate child will be deemed to be the biological child of the intending couple.
- Central and state governments will appoint appropriate authorities to grant eligibility certificates to the intending couple and the surrogate mother. These authorities will also regulate surrogacy clinics.
- Undertaking surrogacy for a fee, advertising it or exploiting the surrogate mother will be punishable with imprisonment for a maximum of 10 years and a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh.
Lok Sabha adjourned after the passage of this Bill.
Rajya Sabha remained adjourned for most of the day.