New Delhi, Aug 25: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod for the introduction in parliament of the Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2016, that seeks to "prohibit commercial surrogacy" and allow "ethical surrogacy" to needy infertile couples.
Here are the salient features of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016.
Who can go for surrogacy:
- Only Indian couples, who are legally married
- The couple must be married for at least five years
- The couple will have to produce a medical certificate testifying that either partner is medically unfit to produce children
Who cannot go for surrogacy:
- Foreigners, NRIs and even OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card holders
- Same sex couples, live-in partners
- Couples having one or more children, either biological or adopted
Who can become a surrogate mother?
- Only a married woman with at least one child
- Surrogate mother must be a close relation of the couple seeking surrogacy
- A woman is allowed to surrogate only once
- A couple can avail surrogacy only once in their lifetime
What is legal protection?
- Surrogacy clinics must be registered with the government
- Illegally operating clinics, or those flouting norms may be punished with 10 years imprisonment and/or Rs 10 lakh fine
- Clinics required to maintain each case record for 25 years
Rights versus wrongs:
- A surrogate child, whether boy or girl, cannot be abandoned by parents
- A surrogate child will have all the rights that a biological child has, including right to property
- A surrogate mother cannot be mistreated by the clinic or the parent couple.