2016 Current Affairs - 2019

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Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 passed by Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha has passed Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 on 19th December 2018 to protect surrogacy in the country. The bill has banned commercial surrogacy and allows only altruistic surrogacy. The bill protects the rights of the surrogate mother and the child born from surrogacy and promotes ethical surrogacy. Surrogacy is defined as an agreement between a couple who cannot conceive and a surrogate mother to carry their child.

Provisions of Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016:

  • The bill is applicable to all the states of India except Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The bill provides the constitution of National Surrogacy board and State Surrogacy board for regulation of surrogacy process.
  • The bill is providing surrogacy to only Indian citizens. Thus, Foreigners, NRI and PIOs are not allowed.
  • Homosexuals and Single parents are also not allowed for surrogacy and bars the couple who already have children
  • The couple seeking surrogacy should possess a certificate of essentiality issued by appropriate authority.
  • The bill provides that women can only surrogate once in her lifetime and her age should be in between 25 to 35 years.
  • The couple who intend for surrogacy should be aged between 23 to 50 years and married for at least 5 years.
  • The bill also provides provision for the custody of the child to be born which will be passed by a court of the Magistrate of the first class or above.
  • The bill contains the provision of penalty and imprisonment if the person violated the law.

National Surrogacy Board

The board consists of:

  • Chairperson – Minister in-charge of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • Vice Chairperson – Secretary to the Government of India in-charge of Department dealing with surrogacy matters.
  • Members – Three women members of Parliament, Three members of Ministries of Central government from Women and Child Development, Legislative Department in Ministry of Law and Justice and Ministry of Home Affairs not below the rank of Joint Secretary, Director-General of Health Services of Central Government and ten experts members.

Background

The bill was first introduced in Lok Sabha as The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 on 21 November 2018. In 2017, it was then referred to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare. 102nd report of the bill was placed in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha last year.

Commercial Surrogacy

The surrogacy which includes sale or purchase of human embryo or gametes or surrogate mother. If the surrogate mother will be rewarded remunerations or financial benefits other than medical expenses.

Altruistic Surrogacy

The surrogacy which includes no financial benefits to the surrogate mother other than medical expenses. It includes insurance coverage for the mother and protects the ethics of society.