Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill Current Affairs - 2019
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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.
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.
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.
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.
The Union Cabinet has approved proposal for moving official amendments in Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016. Once the Bill is enacted by Parliament, National Surrogacy Board (NSB) will be constituted at central level. The States/UTs will constitute State Surrogacy Boards (SSBs) and State Appropriate Authorities within 3 months of notification by Central Government.
India has emerged as surrogacy hub for couples from different countries and there have been reported incidents concerning unethical practices, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy, exploitation of surrogate mothers and rackets of intermediaries importing human embryos and gametes. The 228th report of Law Commission of India has recommended for prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing ethical altruistic surrogacy by enacting suitable legislation.
Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016
The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha in November 2016 which was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare in January 2017. The committee had held various meetings with various stakeholders for holding discussions and to receive their suggestions.
The proposed legislation proposes to regulate surrogacy in India by establishing NSB at central level and, SSBs and Appropriate Authorities in States/UTs. It also seeks to ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow altruistic surrogacy to needy Indian infertile couples. The Bill will apply to whole of India, except Jammu and Kashmir.
Significane of Bill
The proposed law will regulate surrogacy services in country and rein unethical practices in surrogacy. It will prevent commercialization of surrogacy and prohibit potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy. It will prohibit commercial surrogacy including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes. It will allow ethical surrogacy to needy infertile couples on fulfillment of certain conditions and for specific purposes. It will protect rights of surrogate mother and children born out of surrogacy will be protected.