Main Features of Surrogacy Bill 2016

IAS Prelims 2023

Following are the main features of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016:

Who can go for surrogacy:

Only Indian couples, who are legally married

The couple must be married for at least five years

The couple will have to produce a medical certificate testifying that either partner is medically unfit to produce children

Who cannot go for surrogacy:

Foreigners, NRIs and even OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card holders

Same sex couples, live-in partners

Couples having one or more children, either biological or adopted

Who can become a surrogate mother?

Only a married woman with at least one child

Surrogate mother must be a close relation of the couple seeking surrogacy

A woman is allowed to surrogate only once

A couple can avail surrogacy only once in their lifetime

What is legal protection?

Surrogacy clinics must be registered with the government

Illegally operating clinics, or those flouting norms may be punished with 10 years imprisonment and/or Rs 10 lakh fine

Clinics required to maintain each case record for 25 years

Rights versus wrongs:

A surrogate child, whether boy or girl, cannot be abandoned by parents

A surrogate child will have all the rights that a biological child has, including right to property

A surrogate mother cannot be mistreated by the clinic or the parent couple.