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TRENDING TUESDAY ARTICLE

Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016

Surrogacy is defined as a practice in which a woman gives birth to a child for an intending couple. Recently, the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, introduced by the Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, passed in the Lok Sabha.

The need for such a bill can be realized by the following reasons:

  1. Preventing the exploitation of surrogate mothers for monetary benefit.
  2. Preventing the surrogate child against exploitation like prostitution, trafficking, or any other exploitation.
  3. Ensuring the legitimacy of the intending couple.

In the wake of concerns associated with such a sensitive matter, the bill tries to cover, comprehensively, all the issues which have raised or may arise. Some provisions of the Bill ensuring this are:

  1. 1. Eligibility criteria for the intending couple and surrogate mother :
    • Certificate of Essentiality: Issued after appropriate examinations, tests and paperwork. Eg: Confirming infertility of the intending couple, written assent of the surrogate mother, etc.
    • Certificate of Eligibility: Issued after thorough identification and inspection, by an appropriate authority of all parties involved. Eg: ensuring Indian citizenship of the intending couple.
  2. Appointment of appropriate authority to oversee the functioning of surrogacy practices.
  3. Mandatory registration of all surrogacy clinics under the concerned authority.
  4. Formation of National Surrogacy Board(NSB) and State Surrogacy Board(SSB):
    • SSBs oversee the secure and smooth functioning of surrogacy practices.
    • NSB oversees the Functioning of SSBs and also advice the government on policy matters related to surrogacy.
  5. Strict laws and penalties for notwithstanding any provision in the bill or exploitation of the provisions in any other way.

The Bill, however, may have a couple of concerns associated:

  • No government aid, medical or financial, to the surrogate mother.
  • Lack of awareness creating measures for the public on the matter.

The Bill is, undoubtedly, a major step towards security and support of surrogacy practices. It certainly reflects the transforming mindset of modern India.

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