Lok Sabha has passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 that prohibits commercial surrogacy, but allows altruistic surrogacy.
It defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to a child for an intending couple with the intention to hand over the child after the birth to the intending couple.
Moving the Bill, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vadhan said, India has emerged as a hub for surrogacy in recent years. He said, there are 2000 to 3000 surrogacy clinics running illegally in the country.
He said, the purpose of the Bill is to ensure effective regulation of surrogacy. He said, it will prevent exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born out of surrogacy.
Dr Vardhan said, commercial surrogacy is banned and considered illegal in many countries including New Zealand, the United Kingdom, China, South Africa, Spain, and Switzerland.
Our correspondent reports a child born out of a surrogacy procedure will be deemed to be the biological child of the intending couple. The offences under the Bill include undertaking or advertising commercial surrogacy, exploiting the surrogate mother and abandoning, exploiting or disowning a surrogate child.