The Law Commission of India, in its 228th Report, had recommended prohibition of commercial surrogacy by enacting a suitable legislation. The statement of objects and reasons of the Bill says “Due to lack of legislation to regulate surrogacy, practice of surrogacy has been misused by the surrogacy clinics, which leads to rampant of commercial surrogacy and unethical practices in the said area of surrogacy”. Hence there was the need for regulating surrogacy in India.
The key provision of the bill are as follows:
- The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 was passed in Lok Sabha with a voice vote amid several adjournments over other issues.
- The bill ensures regulation of surrogacy in India, prohibiting commercial surrogacy. It allows altruistic surrogacy to Indian married couple who cannot bear children.
- The bill says the surrogate mother and the couple that wants to have her child must be close relatives.
- It provides for the formation of a National Surrogacy Board, State Surrogacy Boards and appointment of appropriate authorities for the regulation of the practice of surrogacy.
- The surrogate mother and the intending couple need eligibility certificates from the appropriate authority.
- The bill allows only Indian citizens to avail of surrogacy. Foreigners, non-resident Indians and persons of Indian origin are banned from seeking surrogate mothers in the country.
- Homosexuals, single parents, and live-in couples are also not allowed to have children via surrogacy in India.
- Couples that already have children will not be allowed to go for surrogacy, though they would be free to adopt children under a separate law.