The Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2019 which seeks to ban commercial surrogacy in India has been passed by Lok Sabha.
Referring to the bill, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said that the ban on commercial surrogacy was the ‘need of the hour.’
Amidst heavy protests by several parties, the bill was considered and was moved for passage.
As per the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill, only Indian couples who have been legally married for at least five years would be allowed to opt for surrogacy.
Moving the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha for consideration and passage, Vardhan said that “A rough estimates says there are about 2,000-3000 surrogacy clinics running illegally in the country and a few thousand foreign couples resort to surrogacy practise within India and the whole issue is thorougly unregulated.”
As per the bill, a woman should be allowed to act as a surrogate mother only once and be a close relative of the intending couple and should be an ever married woman having a child of her own and between the age of 25-35 years.
“There have been reports concerning unethical practices, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy and exploitation of surrogate mothers,” Vardan further said.
He said, the 228th report of the Law Commission has recommended that the government should enact a legislation to ensure that there is only restrictive surrogacy in the country and commercial surrogacy is banned.
The bill seeks to allow ethical surrogacy to the infertile Indian married couple between the age of 23-50 years and 26-55 years for female and male, respectively.