NEW DELHI — The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, March 21 approved amending the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 to provide for rights of a child born through surrogacy equal to those of a natural or biological child, and mandate the registration of surrogacy clinics with the appropriate state authorities.
The amendments also seek 16 months of extended insurance coverage for surrogate mothers to cover all complications, as well as a strict clause to safeguard the surrogate mother from exploitation, the Union Health Ministry said.
Also, Assisted Reproductive Technology has been kept out of the Bill’s purview, it added.
The proposed legislation ensures effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibits commercial surrogacy and allows altruistic surrogacy to infertile Indian couples, as per an official statement.
Once it becomes an Act, it will regulate surrogacy services throughout the country, control unethical practices in surrogacy and prevent the commercialization of surrogacy. It will also prohibit potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy.
"While commercial surrogacy will be prohibited, including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes, ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples will be allowed on fulfillment of certain conditions and for specific purposes," the statement said.
"All infertile Indian married couple who want to avail ethical surrogacy will be benefitted. Further, the rights of surrogate mother and children born out of surrogacy will be protected."
The bill, applicable to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir, proposes to regulate surrogacy in India by establishing the National Surrogacy Board at the central level, State Surrogacy Boards and appropriate authorities in the states and union territories.