Surrogacy Law in India: A New Era for Surrogacy

These changes have ushered in a new era for surrogacy in India, emphasizing ethical practices and prioritizing the welfare of all parties involved.

May 29, 2024 - 01:31
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Surrogacy Law in India: A New Era for Surrogacy

India has long been a destination for surrogacy, attracting intended parents from around the globe due to its advanced medical facilities and relatively lower costs. However, the landscape of surrogacy in India has undergone significant changes with the introduction of new laws aimed at regulating the practice more stringently.

The Shift to Altruistic Surrogacy

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, marks a pivotal change in India's approach to surrogacy. One of the most significant shifts is the move from commercial to altruistic surrogacy. Under the new law, only altruistic surrogacy is permitted, meaning that surrogates cannot receive any monetary compensation beyond medical expenses and insurance coverage. This change aims to eliminate the commercialization of surrogacy, which often led to ethical concerns and potential exploitation of women from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

Key Provisions of the Surrogacy Law

1. Eligibility Criteria

The law sets strict eligibility criteria for both the intending parents and the surrogate. Only Indian nationals can opt for surrogacy, and the intended parents must be a married couple who have been unable to conceive a child naturally. The surrogate must be a close relative of the intending parents, married, and have at least one child of her own. These criteria are intended to ensure that surrogacy is a last resort and to promote the welfare and safety of the surrogate.

2. Legal Framework

The law mandates the establishment of surrogacy boards at both national and state levels to regulate and oversee surrogacy arrangements. These boards are responsible for ensuring compliance with the law and addressing any disputes or grievances that may arise. The legal framework aims to provide a structured and transparent process for surrogacy, protecting the rights of both the surrogate and the intending parents.

3. Ethical Safeguards

By promoting altruistic surrogacy, the law seeks to uphold ethical standards in the practice. The surrogate mother’s consent is paramount, and she must be fully informed about the medical and psychological implications of surrogacy. Additionally, the ban on commercial surrogacy eliminates financial incentives, reducing the risk of exploitation and ensuring that the surrogate’s participation is motivated by genuine altruism.

Altruistic Surrogacy: Cost and Considerations

The shift to altruistic surrogacy in India has significant implications for the cost of surrogacy. While commercial surrogacy often involved high fees for the surrogate mother, altruistic surrogacy focuses solely on covering medical expenses and providing insurance. This makes altruistic surrogacy in India more affordable for intending parents compared to the previous commercial surrogacy models. However, it also means that finding a willing surrogate can be more challenging, as there is no financial incentive.

The altruistic cost in India includes medical procedures, prenatal care, delivery costs, and insurance for the surrogate. These expenses are generally lower than the total costs associated with commercial surrogacy, making the process more accessible to a broader range of couples. However, intended parents must be prepared for the emotional and ethical complexities that come with altruistic surrogacy.

Conclusion

The introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, represents a new era for surrogacy in India, emphasizing ethical practices and the welfare of all involved. Altruistic surrogacy, now the only legal option, promotes ethical considerations and affordability, though it comes with its own set of challenges. By understanding and navigating these new regulations, intended parents can embark on their surrogacy journey with clarity and confidence, fostering a compassionate and supportive environment for the creation of new families.

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