Highlights of Surrogacy Laws in India
- The couples should be legally married for at least five years and should be Indian citizens.
- The couples should not have any surviving child biologically or through adoption or through surrogacy
earlier except when they have a child and who is mentally or physically challenged or suffer from life-threatening
disorder with no permanent cure.
- The couples should not abandon the child, born out of surrogacy procedure under any condition.
- The child born through surrogacy will have the same rights as are available for the biological child.
- The surrogate mother should be a close relative of the intending couple and should be between the age of 25-35 years. She will carry a child which id genetically related to the intending couple and can act as a surrogate mother only once.
- An order concerning the parentage and custody of the child to be born through surrogacy is to be passed by a court of the Magistrate of the first class.
- Insurance coverage of reasonable and adequate amount shall be ensured in favor of the surrogate mother.
- The Bill provides for setting up of National Surrogacy Board and State Surrogacy Broads which shall exercise the powers and shall perform functions conferred on the Board under this Act. The National Surrogacy Board shall consist of the Minister-in-charge of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as the Chairperson, Secretary to the Government of India in-charge of the Department dealing with the surrogacy matter, as Vice-Chairperson and three women Members of Parliament, of whom two shall be elected by the House of the People and one by the Council of State as Members. The total number of the members of National Surrogacy board will 24.
- The National Surrogacy Board and State Surrogacy board shall be the policy-making bodies and Appropriate Authority will be the implementation body for the Act. The total number of the members of State Surrogacy board will be 24.
- The Appropriate Authority shall comprise of an officer of or above the rank of the Joint Director of Health and Family Welfare Department, as Chairperson and an eminent woman representing women’s organization an officer of Law Department of State or the Union Territory concerned not below the rank of a Deputy Secretary, and an eminent registered medical practitioner, as members.
- No person, organization, surrogacy clinic, laboratory or clinical establishment of any kind shall undertake commercial surrogacy, abandon the child born out of surrogacy, exploit the surrogate mother, sell human embryo or import embryo for the purpose of surrogacy. Violation to the said provision shall be an offense punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.
- The surrogacy clinics shall have to maintain all records for a period of 25 years.
- There will be Transitional provision under this Act providing a gestation period of ten months from the date of coming into force of this Act to protect the wellbeing of already existing surrogate mothers.
- The bill proposes to allow altruistic ethical surrogacy to intend infertile Indian married couple between the age of 23-50 years and 26-55 years for female and male respectively.