New Law to Ban Foreigners from Seeking Indian Surrogacy Options
India, one of the go-to-destinations for foreign childless couples seeking out a surrogate, has issued the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016, and is expected to become law within a year. This regulation has been put in place with the expectation of ending exploitation of women and to protect the rights of those children born as a result of surrogacy.
For years, the attractiveness of low costs, skilled physicians, top-notch technology and a large pool of available women seeking to make their living from becoming a surrogate, are some of the reasons foreigners have flocked to India in hopes of obtaining the completion of their families.
Once the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 is enacted, commercial surrogacy will be completely banned, and only infertile couples already residing in India will be permitted to have a child through this method.
There will be exceptions, whereby single mothers/fathers, homosexual families and those that have other children will not be permitted to have a child through surrogacy. Additionally, the surrogate mother can only be a married, close relative that has already given birth to one healthy child, and can only act as a surrogate once in her lifetime. Additionally, the parents are prohibited from paying the surrogate.
The necessity of strict guidelines such as these are largely due to several factors that have occurred during the years of what became a thriving surrogacy industry. Some, of the factors include:
- Exploitation of surrogate mothers
- Abandonment of children born out of surrogacy in the event the child was born female or disabled, and only choosing to take one child in the event twins were born
- Intermediaries importing human embryos
Indian Surrogacy Regulation Opposition
According to an article in the Diplomat.com, exact numbers for the Indian surrogacy business are difficult to determine, however, a 2012 study by World Bank estimated it to be worth nearly $400 million a year, throughout 3,000 fertility clinics across India.
Opponents of the bill argue that a citizen’s fundamental rights are threatened by discriminating against certain classes of people. Also, by closing numerous clinics, India will lose a large contributor to the economy.
Simply said, surrogacy has become a large revenue driver that will be substantially reduced. Furthermore, it was argued that Indian surrogacy had become a method for women to support their families and to help childless couples create the family they sought.
Read previous Medical Tourism Magazine articles about Indian Surrogacy