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Cheers for passing of the much awaited Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 on 19th December 2018 (‘Bill’)

Surrogacy refers to a contract in which women carries a pregnancy

Surrogacy refers to an arrangement whereby a woman agrees to carry a pregnancy to give birth to a child for another person(s) who are or will ultimately become parents of the newborn child. The Bill introduced irons out numerous delicate issues which needed to be addressed through carefully framed laws in order to protect the rights of the surrogate mother and the intended parents. Due to lack of proper legislation, both surrogate mother(s) and intended parents were previously exploited due to malpractices by middlemen and commercial agencies. This will also give much-required impetus to adoption in India.

The Bill prohibits commercial surrogacy but allows altruistic surrogacy which will help many deserving Indian infertile couples. However, restrictions such as LGBT couples, single parents and NRI’s not been able to commission surrogacy, or couple already having children not been allowed to go for surrogacy, leaves scope for betterment. Also deterrents have been duly incorporated in the Bill such as provisions of a jail term up to 10 years and fine up to Rs. 10 Lakh for violations of these regulations will go a long to curb exploitation.