A draft bill which aims to regulate surrogacy and safeguard surrogate mothers was cleared by the Union Cabinet, on August 24. The proposal was reportedly listed as an agenda item of the Cabinet. According to the Health Ministry proposal, the draft Surrogacy Bill, 2016 looks to regulate commissioning surrogacy in India and also make parentage of such children legal. A Group of Ministers (GoM) which was constituted at the behest of PMO, and comprising of Health Minister J P Nadda, Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, had cleared the draft earlier.
Modi government had admitted that presently there was an absence of a statutory mechanism to control commissioning of surrogacy, and hence there have been cases of pregnancies by way of surrogacy. These happen even in rural and tribal areas which lead to women getting exploited. In order to prevent such exploitations of women, especially those in rural and tribal areas, foreigners are prohibited from commissioning surrogacy in India and according to sources, for more regulations the government has drafted this comprehensive legislation.
In discussions in the Parliament, BJP government had said that it was looking at provisions to be made in the draft Bill which will make parentage of children born out of surrogacy ‘legal and transparent’.
(with PTI inputs)