Surrogacy Current Affairs

Union Cabinet approves introduction of Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 to banning commercial surrogacy in country.

The Bill will ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples.

Salient Features of Bill

  • Regulate practices in ethical surrogacy in the country and prohibits commercial surrogacy including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes.
  • Calls for establishment National Surrogacy Board (NSB) at the central level and State Surrogacy Boards (SSB) and Appropriate Authorities in States/Union Territories.
  • Allows ethical surrogacy for all infertile Indian married couple in the country.
  • Protects rights of surrogate mother and children born out of surrogacy.
  • The law will apply to whole of India, except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • All Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) clinics will be registered.

Major benefits

  • Regulates the surrogacy services in the country.
  • Ban unethical commercial surrogacy and also sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes.
  • Allows ethical surrogacy (i.e. altruistic surrogacy) to needy infertile couples on fulfilment of certain conditions.
  • Control unethical practices in surrogacy, prevent commercialization of surrogacy.
  • Prohibit potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy.
  • It bars foreigners, homosexual couples, people in live in relationships and single individuals to have babies through surrogacy.

Background

  • India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries. However there have been reported incidents concerning unethical practices of surrogacy across country.
  • Incidents such as exploitation of surrogate mothers, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy and rackets of intermediaries importing human gametes and embryos were also reported.
  • The 228th report of the Law Commission of India (LCI) also had recommended for banning commercial surrogacy by enacting a suitable legislation. However, it had allowed ethical altruistic surrogacy to the needy Indian citizens.

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Thailand passes law to ban commercial surrogacy for foreigners

Thailand’s parliament under ruling military junta has passed a legislation banning commercial surrogacy.

Provisions of new law

  • Completely bans foreign couples seeking to have children through Thai surrogate mothers.
  • Only married Thai couples or couples with one Thai partner who have been married at least three years can seek surrogacy.
  • Forbids any middlemen or agencies, receiving any assets or benefits through the surrogacy process.
  • Anyone who violates this law i.e. caught hiring a surrogate mother faces a maximum jail sentence of 10 years. Agents will also face imprisonment if caught.
  • Ban on advertising and promotions, shuts down surrogate agents and unregistered clinics.

Background

Earlier in November 2014, Thailand’s Parliament had voted a draft bill to ban commercial surrogacy. This draft bill banning commercial surrogacy was formulated to regulate the illegal commercial surrogacy after outrage erupted over this unregulated industry.

This industry came under intense scrutiny after a series of surrogacy scandals broke in the country involving foreigners.

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