Surrogacy has emerged as an alternative for couples struggling with infertility, but it has also raised legal and ethical concerns. This blog post will discuss the current status of surrogacy laws in India, the regulation of different types of surrogacy, and the rights of intended parents and surrogates.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Surrogacy
Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021
Altruistic Surrogacy and Its Regulation
Commercial Surrogacy and Its Regulation
Rights of Intended Parents and Surrogates
1. Introduction to Surrogacy
Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman (the surrogate mother) agrees to carry and deliver a child for another person or couple (the intended parents). There are two primary types of surrogacy:
Traditional surrogacy: The surrogate mother is also the biological mother of the child, as her egg is fertilized using sperm from the intended father or a donor.
Gestational surrogacy: The surrogate mother has no genetic link to the child, as the embryo is created using the eggs and sperm from the intended parents or donors and implanted into the surrogate's uterus.
2. Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021
The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, is the primary legislation governing surrogacy in India. The Act aims to regulate surrogacy by establishing a National Surrogacy Board, State Surrogacy Boards, and Appropriate Authorities to ensure the ethical practice of surrogacy and protect the rights of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy.
3. Altruistic Surrogacy and Its Regulation
Altruistic surrogacy is a type of surrogacy in which the surrogate mother does not receive any monetary compensation beyond reimbursement for reasonable medical expenses. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, permits altruistic surrogacy for Indian citizens who meet specific criteria, such as:
The intended parents must be a legally married couple who have been unable to conceive a child for at least five years.
The surrogate mother must be a close relative of the intended parents and have at least one child of her own.
4. Commercial Surrogacy and Its Regulation
Commercial surrogacy is a type of surrogacy in which the surrogate mother receives monetary compensation for carrying and delivering the child. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, prohibits commercial surrogacy in India, making it illegal to engage in, advertise, or promote the practice. Violators of the Act can face imprisonment and fines.
5. Rights of Intended Parents and Surrogates
The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, ensures the protection of the rights of intended parents and surrogate mothers. Some key provisions include:
The intended parents have the right to custody of the child born through surrogacy, and the surrogate mother has no parental rights over the child.
The surrogate mother has the right to proper medical care and treatment during pregnancy and the postpartum period, covered by the intended parents.
The surrogate mother has the right to privacy and confidentiality regarding her identity and surrogacy-related information.
The child born through surrogacy has the same legal rights and protections as a biological child of the intended parents.
The current status of surrogacy laws in India reflects a shift towards ethical practices and the protection of the rights of all parties involved. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, permits altruistic surrogacy under specific conditions while prohibiting commercial surrogacy. As surrogacy continues to evolve in India, it is essential to be aware of the legal framework and ensure compliance with the regulations to protect the rights and well-being of intended parents, surrogate mothers, and the children born through surrogacy.