With the aim to regulate and streamline surrogacy practices in India, the Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016. It prohibits commercial surrogacy and allows close relatives to act as surrogates to needy infertile couples for “altruistic” reasons.
Terming the proposed legislation historic, the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda said different sections of society, political parties, the Supreme Court and the Law Commission have spoken against commercial surrogacy and the bill addresses these concerns.
India had become a hub of commercial surrogacy and surrogate mothers also suffered from exploitation, he told the Lower House.
Nadda said the aim of the bill was to stop commercial surrogacy but at the same time save families by allowing them to have children by using modern science.
Only defined mother and family can avail of surrogacy and the same was not permitted for live-in partners or single parents, he said.
The rules and regulations of the law will define close relatives, he added.
The bill also has penal provision for misuse of surrogacy.