Semantee Chattopadhyay
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As per Wikipedia, “Surrogacy is an arrangement, often supported by a legal agreement, whereby a woman (the surrogate mother) agrees to bear a child for another person”. It is a method of assisted reproduction.
There are two types of surrogacy gestational and traditional. In traditional surrogacy, the father of the child makes with another woman and the born is given back to the parents. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother is not biologically related to the child. The embryo is created via in vitro fertilization (IVF) using the gametes of the intended parents and then is transferred to the surrogate.
Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2020:
• Bans commercial surrogacy, only altruistic surrogacy is allowed.
• Indian married couple, Indian-origin married couple and single women can opt to become surrogate parents.
• “Willing women” to be surrogate mothers.
• Insurance cover for surrogate mother.
• National and state-level surrogacy board
• Provisions to regulate surrogacy clinics.
• No sex selection permitted.
• Child to have rights as the natural-born child and parents can not abandon the child under any condition.
Issues with surrogacy in India: Surrogacy hubs developed in many areas where women from poor families took part to earn money Surrogate mothers faced exploitation, children were abandoned etcetera. The ban on commercial surrogacy, therefore, helped get rid of these issues to a huge extent.
The ban of commercial surrogacy will lead to the industry going underground and may make surrogate mothers more vulnerable. It is not a show that the section of the society other than married couples to bear a child. Recently we have seen that single people, homosexual couples wish to have a child in their family. This bill doesn’t ensure them with anything. The livelihood of poor women who were involved in the surrogacy business is being overlooked by the bill. The possibility of coercion of daughter-in-law in the families persists.