Surrogacy is an assisted reproductive art (ART) helping biological parents to start their families when they are unable to conceive healthily, naturally or through artificial methods. Do many couples get confused with surrogacy kya hai? And wonder if or not surrogacy is legal in India.
In general, surrogacy can be pursued for several reasons and comes in different forms (especially in the context of Indian background). There are two types of surrogacy arrangements and these are gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy.
The Indian government legalized surrogacy in 2002 and the confusion among people regarding- what is Surrogacy and whether Is surrogacy legal in India? Got resolved. The government authored the practice of gestational surrogacy and allowed intending parents to take advantage of artificial processes only before getting surrogacy done.
(भारत में सरोगेसी पर एक सिंहावलोकन)
There have been many changes in India over the concept of surrogacy in the last decade. The government has put on many efforts into regulating the laws drastically and increasing the popularity of the concept among Indians and international intending parents.
All these restrictions & regulations have been made to protect the rights and dignity of women being used as surrogates in India. This is because, before these implications, surrogate mothers were often the victims of exploitation, especially in the process of surrogacy in India.
(सरोगेसी क्या है?)
Many people ask for the surrogacy meaning in Hindi or surrogacy kya hai?
It is indeed the type of pregnancy where a woman carries and gives birth to the child of a person who is not medically, biologically or physically able to give birth to children. In this type of pregnancy, eggs from the female partner who will carry the baby are fertilized with the sperm of the donor to make an embryo.
The embryo is then implanted into the uterus of the mother (surrogate) who agrees to carry the baby until the baby’s birth.
Surrogacy is an option for men & women who intend to have their kids or have any kind of compulsion restricting them to have their children. These compulsions can be any medical issue like radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or the number of causes of infertility.
(भारत में सरोगेसी के प्रकार)
In India, there are two types of surrogacy practised and they are:
As per the traditional method of surrogacy, the eggs of the surrogate mother were used. Earlier, egg donation was not necessary since the eggs of the surrogate mother were used. Later, artificial methods like the intrauterine insemination method were used to simply allow the birth of the embryo and the ultimate birth of the baby. Here, the intended mother needs not take any participation, since none of her eggs (even healthy or not) were retrieved or used for the process.
This is another type of surrogacy where the egg donor is required to produce an embryo and help the surrogate mother to further carry out the birthing process. Here, the fertilization process called IVF (in In-Vitro Fertilization) is used. The embryo is created using the eggs of the intending mother and the sperm of the intending father. The fertilized egg is then transferred to the womb or uterus of the surrogate mother.
Since there exists no biological connection between the surrogate mother and the newborn, the surrogate mother (in no case) can give her consent or her entitlement to the life of the newborn.
This type of surrogacy is expensive because both intended parents need to go through different fertility treatments, egg retrieval, healthy sperm retrieval and fertilization.
बच्चे को पालने वाली माँ के लिए कठिनाइयाँ (विशेषकर भारत में)
The legal status of surrogacy has resulted in a rise in child trafficking businesses.
Since the surrogate mother takes advantage of the process and can sometimes ask for an increase in the cost of the entitlement on the child, the surrogate mother intends to produce harm to the child. Also, the child can face medical abnormalities, damage to the membranes of the body and other possible hazards.
Surrogacy has resulted in the commoditization of offspring, which has raised lots of ethical concerns not in legal practices but also in the normal practices of the intended parents. Apart from offspring, women are also exploited, especially in poor nations.
There have been many examples in the legalities & history of surrogacy in India. Many incidents have stated exploitation of women often either to give birth to the child or get mentally harassed as the result of opting for a surrogate.
(अन्य देशों की तुलना में भारत में सरोगेसी की स्थिति)
Since India has legalized surrogacy, there has been an eye of other governments of other countries on the legalities and the regulations. Despite the increasing importance of surrogacy, commercial surrogacy is the type that has largely been unregulated in the industry. Many other countries like the Russian Federation, Columbia, Ukraine and some States of the USA have allowed commercial surrogacy. Other countries like France, Finland, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary, Ireland, etc, have all banned surrogacy in any form.
(सरोगेसी के लिए सरकार की मंजूरी)
The Indian government approved the 2002 draft of the National Guidelines for the Accreditation, Supervision, and Regulation of ART Clinics in India, 2002. Before 2015 and the Indian government banned commercial surrogacy, India was the most prevalent destination for many foreigners to proceed with tourism and seek medical surrogacy services.
A study backed by the United Nations in 2012 estimated that India has more than $400 million in expenses collected for surrogacy with 3,000 fertility centres across India. In 2013, the Indian government pursued regulations regarding foreign homosexual couples & single parents, banning them from taking the advantage of the process in India.
In 2015, the government banned commercial surrogacy and permitted the entry of embryos only for research work. Shortly thereafter, in 2016, the Indian government passed a Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill and announced the permit to only heterosexual couples who have been married for at least five years and have infertility issues and allow them to take the advantage of altruistic or unpaid surrogacy.
Thereafter, another bill in 2019 was passed by Lok Sabha, which would be required to be passed by Rajya Sabha & the upper house of the Indian Parliament to enact the law and thereby pass the law. To know more about the Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2019, you can read further at Prsindia.org.
As per the Ministry of Law and Justice, there is another Surrogacy (Regulation) Act 2021, that further describes the newborn (through surrogacy) as the abandoned child to be abandoned by the appropriate authority and deserted by the intended parents.
The law also describes the meaning of altruistic surrogacy, where the surrogate mother intends to take no expense, charges, remuneration, or monetary fund except medical expenses.
(सरोगेसी के लिए 2015 में अंतरराष्ट्रीय इच्छुक माता-पिता पर प्रतिबंध)
Surrogacy meaning in Hindi / Surrogacy Kya Hai?
Earlier, India was a popular destination for intended parents from international states or countries. But, these trends are no longer applied after 2015, after the Indian government passed new regulations on the surrogacy process.
Today, the Indian government has made it illegal for foreign intended parents to complete a surrogacy in India. The only people who can take the advantage of the regulations are those who are married for at least 5 years and have been through certified infertility issues.
After the ban on foreign intended parents in 2015, the Indian government began regulating surrogacy strongly. Later, in 2018, a debate over an Indian surrogacy law was passed and stated that:
These changes reflected the new era of surrogacy in Asia and other countries like Thailand and Nepal who were highly satisfied and impressed by the legalities in India.
(भारत में सरोगेसी के लिए लिव-इन और समलैंगिक माता-पिता पर प्रतिबंध)
In 2016, the Indian government called surrogacy the “celebrity culture” to have the kids through this process. The government highly criticized the law and the availability of regulations for the Indian people.
The government unveiled the regulations and the law stating that there has been a strong ban on commercial surrogacy, blocking foreigners, people of Indian origin, single parents & homosexual parents to take the advantage of surrogacy and have children in India or through the rent-a-womb service.
The laws were highly discussed and criticized after actor Shah Rukh Khan had his third baby born through surrogacy in 2013, triggering ethical controversy in India.
(भारत में सरोगेसी के लिए इच्छुक माता-पिता और सरोगेट माताओं की उम्र क्या होनी चाहिए?)
After the Indian government changed the law stating that women are allowed to surrogate only once in their life, in the winter session of the parliament, the law also fixed the age of intended female partner as 23 to 50 years and male partner as 26 to 55 years.
“The law states that no Indian woman less than 20 years of age and over the age of 35 shall be eligible to surrogate under the act. Also, the woman acting as the surrogate mother for the intended parent can have more than five successful births in her life, including her children.”
(सरोगेसी प्रक्रिया के लिए क्लीनिक, एजेंसियों और प्रजनन केंद्रों की भूमिका)
To let the surrogacy process proceed as per the laws of India, the clinics and the infertility centres play a crucial role. They act as the pillar for the strength & support for both the intending parent & the surrogate mother.
Clinics, agencies and fertility centres are in themselves surrogate mothers for the intended parents. They receive the minimum amount of INR 7000 to INR 10,000 for the surrogate mother while arranging the centres for them.
Many agencies support surrogate homes for themselves. They support the living of their surrogate homes, sub-urban localities, and the doctors for IVF treatments for the delivery of the child only. Such agencies also manage the whole surrogacy process, arrange the things for the intended parents, hire lawyers, prepare a contract, and help the intended parents to connect.
Fertility clinics pay surrogate mothers an estimated amount of $4,500 or INR 3 lakh to $5,000 or INR 4 lakh. This may include the charges for carrying out the pregnancy, charges for the clients, and for protecting the interests of the surrogate mother.
(सरोगेसी के लिए सही उम्मीदवार कौन है?)
The right candidate for surrogacy is the one who is married for five years and has the certification for infertility from the authorities or doctors. The intended parents can take advantage of surrogacy if they are going through the following issues:
Surrogacy is intended to be the last option for couples who have gone through IVF treatment. But, IVF treatment has also proved to be a failure for them due to any infertility issues including thin endometrium or decreased receptivity. After going through all available processes like IVF, fertility treatments and others, the doctors will suggest such intended parents have a baby through surrogacy.
Some women are born with reproductive defects. They may not have a uterus, cervix, vagina or any other birth canal helping to conceive naturally. Although some of the birth defects are correctable, many of them are not. This may pose issues for the baby. Some women develop tumours, cancer, and heavy bleeding, leading to issues in having a baby. Consequently, surrogacy remains the last option for such people to conceive a baby and become parents.
Some women face miscarriages for various reasons. They can ask for surrogacy if their womb is not strong enough to carry the baby. In such cases, autoimmune diseases can also affect such women, causing the reason to abort for their safety.
Some women suffer because of medical issues that make them unable to carry the child in their womb. There can be lots of complications like cervical incompetence, severe eclampsia, and placenta accreta.
In some cases, pregnancy poses problems for the mother’s life. Seeing the history of miscarriages, diseases, inability to carry the baby in the womb, and history of severe eclampsia prohibits the mother’s ability to store a baby in the womb.
Biological impossibilities may arise in the case of both men & women. They may pose infertility issues and may have a lack of reproductive power to store the embryo, hold the fetus, or raise a child.
(भारत में सरोगेसी प्रथा को कैसे विनियमित किया जाता है?)
Presently, surrogacy is practised through surrogate pregnancy contracts. The surrogate clinic holds the responsibility to provide this contract, enforceability, and validity of the contract which is governed by the Indian Contract Act, 1872.
The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has proposed the Guidelines to be followed by medical professionals, medical staff, agents, clinics and fertility centres. These guidelines hold the regulations for surrogacy, assisted reproductive technologies, and all other professional protocols.
(भारत में सरोगेसी नियमों और विनियमों की रूपरेखा)
Surrogacy kya hai? Surrogacy meaning in Hindi / What is Surrogacy?
Many such questions were prevalent in Indians when there were no fixed rules. However, the government has now proposed a guideline or an outline for the regulations and protocols to be passed regarding the concept of surrogacy.
The following gives an idea about the progression and the advancements made so far in the meaning, concept and protocols of surrogacy in India.
2002 – Indian regulations allowed only gestational surrogacy.
2008 – Indian Constitution allowed commercial surrogacy.
2012 – Indian constitution blocked foreign, gay couples, single mothers & fathers from availing of the services of surrogacy.
2016 – A bill was passed to ban commercial surrogacy. No visas for foreigners who intend to go to Indian states or visit the country for surrogacy purposes. Surrogacy is allowed only for those who are Indians, married for at least 5 years and are still together.
2018 – Women who are employees of the Central Government also intend to receive maternity leave in case they have taken the services of surrogacy or have had their kids born through surrogacy. They will have maternity leave as per the regulations of the personnel ministry.
15th July 2019 – Lok Sabha passed Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2019, according to which the intended married couple should have the certificate of essentiality, and the certificate of eligibility with one partner having a valid Indian passport. The woman who is the intended parent should be anywhere between 23 and 50 and the man should be anywhere between 26 and 55 and the surrogate mother should be somewhere between 25 and 35. The surrogate mother possesses the complete choice to withdraw from the process of surrogacy.
25th December 2021 – The surrogacy regulation act 2021 was passed.
The Indian government regulates the practices of gestational surrogacy involving the exchange of money to the surrogate mother except for the medical expenses for both the surrogate mother and the newborn who is still in the womb. As per the laws enacted on 28th October 2015, the Supreme Court said that it will prohibit & penalize commercial surrogacy services, will protect the dignity of womanhood, prevent the trafficking of human beings, and the sale of the surrogate child in any way after the child’s birth. Today, the government enacts that there will be only an altruistic kind of surrogacy allowed for Indians only with the regulations to pay medical expenses for the mother & the child.
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