The Lower House of the Parliament passed the Surrogacy (Regulation Bill) 2016 which shall safeguard the rights of the women and also those couples cannot have a biological child on 19 December 2018. The Bill seeks to put a ban on Commercial Surrogacy and promotes Altruistic Surrogacy. Altruistic Surrogacynegates the involvement of monetary incentives exclusive of the medical expenses and medical insurance of the surrogate mother.
As per the regulations in this bill, the intending couple must be Indian Citizens, must be married for atleast 5 years and one of the expecting parent must be infertile. Also the Surrogate Mother should be a “Close” Relative of the intending couple and must have a child of her own. The introduction of this bill, puts a complete ban on Commercial Surrogacy thereby, benefitting and relieving the poor yet susceptiblewomen from exploitation.
“The law does not fully justify that how close should be the surrogate mother to the intending parents. The government must understand that this law can actually be a problem of the “close” relative of the childless couples as they might always be under pressure or threat that they can also be asked to become surrogate mothers. The constant compelling of being surrogate mothers can be victimizing and frustrating.” says Dr. Rita Bakshi, IVF Expert and Senior Gynaecologist, International Fertility Centre.
Appropriate Authorities, will grant eligibility certificate to the surrogate mother and intending couple which shall be setup by the Central and the State Government. Anyone caught not abiding to the rules of this act, shall be imprisoned for years which is non-bailable and non-compoundable. Along with this, the unlawful shall also have to pay a sum of Rs. 10 lakh as a fine.
“Outlawing Commercial Surrogacy by the mindless step as the Indian Lawmakers has disregarded several other couples that are incapable to give birth to a child. The government only emphasisesto cater to the needs of the Indian married infertile couples whereas, it has completely overlooked the needs of the same sex couples or people who wish to have a second baby but are not medically fir to have one. Several people who have major problems like thalassemia, anaemia, tuberculosisused to also opt for Surrogacy but cannot do so now with introduction of this bill.” Dr. Bakshi added.
This decision might not be as helpful and befitting as it was actually thought to be. This might just add to the women oppression while doing a favour for their “close” relatives.