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8/31/2016

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Surrogacy Bill: Necessary controls, someconcerns

Surrogacy Bill: Necessary


controls, someconcerns
In its present form the Bill may end up denying millions of Indian women the
opportunity to take advantage of advancements in medical science.

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By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: August 26, 2016 1:19 am

http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/surrogacybillwhatissurrogacy2996395/

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8/31/2016

SurrogacyBill:Necessarycontrols,someconcerns|TheIndianExpress

According to some estimates, approximately 2,000 babies are born every year through commercial
surrogacy a $ 2.3 billion, completely unregulated, industry in India. The mothers, generally poor,
helpless women, get very little money.

As the government moves to bring a law to shut down the surrogacy shops in
India, IVF experts remain divided on the provisions of the draft Bill.
Some welcome it, saying the unregulated industry has become a hub for the
exploitation of poor, hapless women; others say regulation is essential but in its
present form the Bill may end up denying millions of Indian women the
opportunity to take advantage of advancements in medical science.
The restrictions on who can commission a child through surrogacy limiting it to
just childless married couples who have been legally married for at least five years,
but allowing couples with a mentally or physically challenged child or one with a
life-threatening disorder, is also a point that has divided the medical fraternity.
Regulations are important. But surrogate mothers often come from a strata of
society where they can neither go to another persons house to do dishes nor stand
in a red light area. For such women, surrogacy is a means to earn a livelihood
even though it is true that compensations have stagnated; it was Rs 2.5 lakh in 2000,
and remains the same now, said Dr Abha Majumdar, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics
and Gynaecology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
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8/31/2016

SurrogacyBill:Necessarycontrols,someconcerns|TheIndianExpress

I think it should be made commercial, but with very tight regulations. Middlemen
should be removed but the surrogate mother must be paid a compensation, she
said.

Dr Majumdar feels it was only fair that the Bill allows a couple with a mentally or
physically challenged child to go for surrogacy.
If the Bill becomes law, India will join countries including Switzerland, Sweden,
South Africa, Canada, Spain, France and Germany that have banned commercial
surrogacy. The decision to ban foreigners from having babies through surrogacy in
India has killed off three quarters of the industry, say IVF doctors; what remains
caters to really needy Indian women, and the Bill may even jeopardise that.
Dr Kaberi Banerjee, medical director of the Advanced Fertility and Gynaecology
Centre, describes commercial surrogacy as a win win situation for everybody.
The government seems to be acting on hearsay It is a win win situation for
everybody the commissioning parents who cannot have a baby by natural means
and the surrogate mother who would not have got this amount of money ever in
her life. If people were willing to become surrogate mothers for altruism, the
commercial option would not have come. Also, when and whether a couple wants
to go for surrogacy, first child, second child, disabled child, are individual decisions.
The state cant dictate, she said.
I think it is a good Bill. Surrogacy was being misused. It was unfair to poor women
admittedly it was a good income opportunity, maybe they could have looked
after their family better. But look at the health hazards. And there is no logic in
allowing a couple with a disadvantaged child to go for surrogacy. That child needs
care. A second child will complicate matters, and the first one may even be
neglected, said Dr Mangla Telang, Director, Fertility Research and IVF Centre.
Law in India andtheUK: What the govt picked up
How UKs Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, 1990 and Surrogacy
Arrangements Act agree and differ with Indias proposed Surrogacy Bill
On commercial surrogacy
http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/surrogacybillwhatissurrogacy2996395/

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8/31/2016

SurrogacyBill:Necessarycontrols,someconcerns|TheIndianExpress

Under boththe UK laws and intended Indian law, surrogacy can only be for
altruistic reasons. Commercial surrogacy is banned in the UK, and will be in India
within 10 months of notification of the Act. In UK, only reasonable expenses can
be paid, unless otherwise authorised by a court.

On commissioning parents
UK: They must both be over 18; married, civil partners or living together in an
enduring family relationship. There are special rules for unmarried/same sex
couples. One of the commissioning parents must be biologically linked to the child.
INDIA: Only childless couples who have been married for five years are eligible.
Significantly, couples who have a biological child who is mentally or physically
challenged also qualify.
On single parents
UK: Single parents are not allowed. There have been cases in court asking for a
revision of the law. Clamour resurfaces every few years when a fresh case emerges
of a single person seeking custody.
INDIA: Singles or those in a homosexual relationship cannot apply.
On status of surrogate
UK: Surrogate mother of a child born through surrogacy is the legal mother. Her
name appears in the birth certificate, and commissioning parents have to later
obtain a parental order which is similar to an adoption order for custody of
the child.
INDIA: Legal parents will be the couple commissioning the surrogacy, and not the
surrogate mother. A child born through surrogacy will have the same rights as a
biological child.
On blood relatives
UK: Only blood relatives can become surrogate mothers for altruistic purposes.
INDIA: Close relatives can become surrogate mothers; will be better defined in
the Rules.

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SurrogacyBill:Necessarycontrols,someconcerns|TheIndianExpress

abantika.ghosh@expressindia.com

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