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Serious Move To End Rent-A-Womb Business!

FPJ Bureau | Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 02:27 PM IST

The service may be available only to childless Indian couples |
The service may be available only to childless Indian couples |
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New Delhi : The government is ready with the much-awaited Indian surrogacy law that will put a blanket ban on the commercial surrogacy involving women renting their womb to childless married couples.

A draft bill prepared by a group of ministers (GoM), headed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, bans the surrogacy services to foreigners while making it available only to Indian couples who are married for at least five years and tried natural modes of childbirth without success.

Individuals and persons belonging to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community will be ineligible to have children through surrogacy. The GoM, which included Health Minister J P Nadda and ministers Ravi Shankar

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Prasad, Nirmala Sitharaman and Harsimrat Badal, has recommended surrogacy for altruistic purposes and not for any commercial exploitation.

Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman agrees to pregnancy, achieved through assisted reproductive technology, wherein neither eggs or sperms belonging to her or her husband are used, and the child is handed over to the persons who have hired her.

The GoM wants a surrogate mother to lend her womb only once for the service, an improvement over the previous Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill prepared by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMT) that allowed a woman to be surrogate for not more than five successful live births in her life, including her own children.

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The draft Bill clearly lays down provisions to protect the entitlements of children born out of surrogacy. Couples accessing surrogacy will have to accept the child notwithstanding her disability or twins or triplets born to the surrogate mother. Non-acceptance of children will be a crime. The Bill stipulates penalties up to Rs 10 lakh and jail up to 10 years. Punishment is also prescribed for the surrogacy clinics failing to register with the designated authorities.

The Bill proposes a national surrogacy board and state surrogacy boards to regulate the sector. At the district level, the authorities will be designated to review the eligibility of couples intending to engage surrogates.

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Published on: Sunday, July 03, 2016, 11:00 AM IST