Surrogacy Bill 2016: Key Features

The cabinet has cleared the surrogacy bill 2016. The features of the bill include:

  • The Bill defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to a child for an eligible couple and agrees to hand over the child after the birth to them
  • The Bill allows altruistic surrogacy which involves a surrogacy arrangement where the monetary reward only involves medical expenses and insurance coverage for the surrogate mother.  Commercial surrogacy is prohibited under the Bill.
  • The intending couple must be Indian citizens and married for at least five years with at least one of them being infertile.  The surrogate mother has to be a close relative who has been married and has had a child of her own.
  • Central and state governments will appoint appropriate authorities to grant eligibility certificates to the intending couple and the surrogate mother.  These authorities will also regulate surrogacy clinics.
  • The couple must be in the age group of 23-50 years (female partner) and 26-55 years (male partner).
  • The Bill states that any child born out of a surrogacy procedure shall be the biological child of the intending couple and will be entitled to all rights and privileges that are available to a natural child.
  • The Bill specifies that any person who takes the aid of a doctor or a surrogacy clinic in order to conduct commercial surrogacy will be punishable with imprisonment for a minimum term of ten years and a fine that may extend to ten lakh rupees.

The legislation aims to ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow altruistic surrogacy to the needy Indian infertile couples. [Indian Express]

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