A Brief Review Of Surrogacy (regulation) Bill 2019
Post on 29,July 2019   9:00 PM
By - Miss. Vibha Yadav
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This bill was introduced in Lok Sabha with the aim to promote altruistic surrogacy and to end the commercialisation of the process becuase it usually results in vulnerable conditions of the women from underprivileged background.

Surrogacy is a process of carrying and delivering a child of another person.Thus a surrogate mother is a woman who bear a child on behalf of another woman, either from her own egg or through implantation of a fertilized egg from another woman.

The world's second and india's first IVF(in vitro fertilization) baby, Kanupriya alias Durga was born in Kolkata on october 3,1978. Since then, the field of assisted reproductive technology(ART) has developed rapidly.

Reasons responsible for rapid growth: Increasing infertility and patriarchal nature of society.In India, while the parents construct the child biologically, the child constructs the parents socially.

Low cost of surrogacy made India a favourable destination for foreign couples and resulted in whole branch of medical tourism.

Problem associated with practice
  • Result in commoditization of the child and breaks essential bond between mother and the child.
  • Interferes with nature
  • Sometimes exploitation of both poor women and the child born.
  • Negligence and lack of care of surrogate mother - through not providing good food or medical treatment and postpartum care.
  • Culture of middlemen and lack of regulation of clinics.

Response of parliament as Surrogacy(Regulation) bill, 2019 have following features.
  • Constitution of Surrogacy boards at national and state level for effective regulation.
  • Only Indian couples with at least 5 years legal marriage are allowed to opt it.
  • It is mandatory for the couple to obtain a certificate of essentiality and also a certificate of eligibility.
  • Provision for regulating the functioning of the clinics.
  • No sex selection can be done in the whole process.
  • The child born out of surrogacy shall be the biological child of the intending couple.
  • Provisions for Surrogate mothers
    • Must be a close relative of the intending couple.
    • Must be married woman having a child of her own.
    • Certifiably mentally and physically fit.
    • Age between 25-35 years and not have been surrogate earlier.
    • Provision of insurance coverage during and after pregnancy.
Issues with the bill
  • Not define the term "Close relative"
  • Intending couples should be married Indian couples but not mention the provisions for Non-Resident Indians.
  • Any type of monetary compensation or advertising about the act of surrogacy is a punishable criminal offence. This provision will hit adversely on the poor women who are engaged in commercial surrogacy.
  • Prohibit fashion surrogacy
  • Bill mention about the regulation on donor eggs but presently there is no law regulating assisted reproductive technologies (ART).
What next: There is need of a legislation on assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Surrogacy should be made inclusive for all class of people because having a child is a basic right.
  • Declaration of human right 1948 stated that men and women of full age have the right to marry and found a family.
  • Indian judiciary - the reproductive right is a basic right and if so then the right to have a child through surrogacy should also be a basic constitutional right.
Rather than penalising surrogacy, there is a need to secure surrogate mother with a contract, proper insurance and medical care. Right to privacy of donar and surrogate mothers should be protected.

Final remark: Removal of commercial aspects is not enough, there is massive need to address one big problem i.e. chance of exploitation of both mother and child born.The rights of mother and child must be formulated comprehensively.

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