Govt considering framing law/guidelines to regulate surrogacy

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New Delhi, Jun 25 (UNI) The Government is considering regulatory mechanism for surrogacy in the country that would protect the rights of women giving birth to surrogate children so that they were not exploited by middlemen and vested interest.

Minister of State for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury held consultations with the medical experts and women rights activists on the complex issue so that rights of surrogate mother and children were protected and surrogacy was not misued for organ trade or trafficking.

The meeting discussed a draft prepared by the experts of Indian Council of Medical Research on the issue to get a wider perspective of the issue so that the final bill/legislation could be prepared on surrogacy. Pointing out that till now there was no regulatory authority, Ms Chowdhury said that it appeared that it was a free for all. ''But we donot want India to become a cheap deal hub (for surrogacy),'' she asserted.

Lamenting that there was no official data on surrogacy in the country and everything was being carried out in a clandestine manner, she said surrogacy was a complex issue and the government wanted to frame regulatory authority. However, it would be done only after deliberating on issues like the rights of surrogate mothers and her family in case of death during delivery of child, the benefit derived by the middle men, impact of surrogacy on gender selective abortion, multiple surrogacy.

Moreover, in case of multiple birth and if the genetic parents refuse to take all children, the rights of remaining surrogate children would also be deliberated in detail before taking a final decision. Also, the impact of surrogacy on population of the country would be discussed. But as far as age of surrogacy was concerned it would remain between 22 years to 45 years as recommended by medical experts on the basis of reproductive age.

However, final shape of the regulatory provision whether it would be in the form of guidelines, Bill or act would be decided only after detailed deliberation, she added.

UNI AJ AKJ ND1935

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