Critically examine various legal and ethical issues around commercial surrogacy in India.

Commercial surrogacy is a process in which an individual or couple pays a fee/compensation to a woman in exchange for her carrying and delivering a baby. Commercial surrogacy is in rampant practice in India. However, there are certain legal and ethical issues involved in this process.
Ethically, this process is looked upon as commodification of women to selling of a child.
Further the poor, illiterate women of rural background are often persuaded in such deals by their spouse or middlemen only because this would earn them easy money. These women have no right on decision regarding their own body and life. Also rights of the child are a matter of concern if not taken by the intended parents.
This process is legal but unregulated in India. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had finalised the National Guidelines for Accreditation, Supervision and Regulation of ART Clinics in India in 2005. Therefore the business has been left to self-regulate. This creates legal loopholes in the process. There is no particular regulatory framework to watch over this booming industry in India. The Baby Manji case of 2008 has spelled out the importance of having a regulatory body.
Sincere efforts need to made to at least regulate the industry from becoming a commercial racket. (211 words)

Question for UPSC Mains:
Critically examine various legal and ethical issues around commercial surrogacy in India.

Published: March 17, 2016 | Modified:October 15, 2020

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