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CABINET APPROVES BILL TO REGULATE SURROGACY

Focus: GS-II Governance, Prelims

Why in news?

  • The Union Cabinet on 26th February 2020 approved the Surrogacy  (Regulation) Bill, 2020, allowing a “willing” woman to be a surrogate mother and proposing that the Bill would benefit widows and divorced women besides infertile Indian couples.
  • The Cabinet approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill after incorporating the recommendations of a Rajya Sabha Select Committee.
  • The proposed insurance cover for a surrogate mother has now been increased to 36 months from 16 months earlier.

What is Surrogacy?

  • Surrogacy is an arrangement, often supported by a legal agreement, whereby a woman (the surrogate mother) agrees to bear a child for another person or persons, who will become the child’s parent(s) after birth.
  • People may seek a surrogacy arrangement when pregnancy is medically impossible, when pregnancy risks are too dangerous for the intended mother, or when a single man or a male couple wish to have a child.

Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019

  • The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 was introduced by the Minister of Health and Family Welfare in Lok Sabha on July 15, 2019.
  • The Bill defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to a child for an intending couple with the intention to hand over the child after the birth to the intending couple.

Regulation of surrogacy:

  • The Bill prohibits commercial surrogacy, but allows altruistic surrogacy.
  • Altruistic surrogacy involves no monetary compensation to the surrogate mother other than the medical expenses and insurance coverage during the pregnancy.
  • Commercial surrogacy includes surrogacy or its related procedures undertaken for a monetary benefit or reward (in cash or kind) exceeding the basic medical expenses and insurance coverage.
  • Purposes for which surrogacy is permitted:
    1. for intending couples who suffer from proven infertility
    2. altruistic
    3. not for commercial purposes
    4. not for producing children for sale, prostitution or other forms of exploitation
    5. for any condition or disease specified through regulations.
  • The intending couple should have a ‘certificate of essentiality’ and a ‘certificate of eligibility’ issued by the appropriate authority.
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November 2022
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