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
- for intending couples who suffer from proven infertility
- not for commercial purposes
- not for producing children for sale, prostitution or other forms of exploitation
- 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.