In 2016, a Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill was introduced and passed by Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament, proposing to permit only heterosexual Indian couples married for at least five years with infertility problems to access altruistic or unpaid surrogacy and thereby further banning commercial surrogacy. The 2016 bill lapsed owing to the adjournment sine die of the parliament session. The bill was reintroduced and passed by the Lok Sabha in 2019. The bill would require to be passed by the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament and presidential assent before it becomes an act and thereby a law. Source: Wikipedia
Earlier July 2019 the Union Cabinet gave its nod to the surrogacy regulation bill 2019. The bill that aims to prohibit commercial surrogacy was introduced in the Lok Sabha on the 15th of July. Commercial surrogacy practice is also known as rent a womb was legalized in India in the year 2002. In order to promote medical tourism and soon India became the hub of surrogacy. Driven by factors like low cost and the absence of a strict legislation commercial surrogacy became a booming business in the country. According to a 2012 study by the Confederation of Indian Industry the size of India surrogate motherhood industry was 2 billion dollars a year. A study backed by the United Nations also conducted in the year 2012 estimated the economic scale of the Indian surrogacy industry to be 400 million dollars a year with more than 3,000 fertility clinics across the country. The unregulated business led to concerns over the rampant exploitation of surrogate mothers as well as their children. Prompting the need for legislation to regulate surrogacy in the country. A bill to ban commercial surrogacy in India and permitting only related women to act as our boots to infertile couples has been introduced once again in the Lok Sabha. The bill was passed by the lower house in December 2018 but lapsed as it could not get the parliaments approval.
The surrogacy regulation bill puts in place stricter guidelines for couples opting for surrogacy it prohibits commercial surrogacy and allows only ethical altruistic surrogacy that too only to an intending infertile Indian married couple between the age of 23 to 50 years and 26 to 55 years for female and male respectively. The surrogacy regulation bill aims to regulate the practice of surrogacy in the country so as to prevent the exploitation of surrogate mothers and to protect the rights of children born through surrogacy.
Once the bill is passed by both houses of parliament the government shall notify the date at the commencement of the act. Consequently, the National surrogacy board will be constituted the states and union territories shall constitute state surrogacy boards. After the enactment of the Act, only ethical surrogacy for needy couples will be allowed on fulfilment of stipulated conditions.
In its 228 reports, the Commission recommended prohibiting commercial surrogacy citing concerns over the prevalent use of surrogacy by foreigners and the lack of a proper legal framework resulting in the exploitation of surrogate mothers. who may have been coerced to become a surrogate due to poverty and lacked education. When a woman agrees to gestate a baby for another couple or individual gestational surrogacy became popular in India due to advances in reproductive medicine a large pool of impoverished women and low cost compared to countries such as the United States Canada and Australia. There are two kinds of surrogacy Gestational and traditional surrogacy. In Gestational the embryo that is fertilized by the in vitro method is implanted into the uterus of the surrogate mother. Who then carries and delivers the baby. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother is impregnated with this form of the intended father artificially which makes her both the genetic and gestational mother. Surrogacy is commercial or altruistic depending upon whether the surrogate is paid money for her pregnancy. Due to the lack of proper legislation both surrogate mothers and intended parents are exploited. Only middlemen and commercial agencies profit from the arrangement. Lack of transparency further increases the risk of legal problems for the people involved.
The real motive is to cart them and avoid the social stigma of being made outcasts by their community. These women end up spending the whole tenure of pregnancy worrying about the household and children. The worst part is that in the case of an unfavourable outcome of the pregnancy they are unlikely to be paid. There is no provision of insurance or post-pregnancy medical and psychiatric support for them. There are many moral and ethical issues regarding surrogacy that has become more of a commercial racket. The most unequal party in the Surrogacy contract, however, remains the child that results from AIDS.