Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday tabled the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha.
The bill had been passed by the Lok Sabha but lapsed after the dissolution of the House. The Cabinet earlier approved the introduction of the Bill that aims to prohibit commercial surrogacy in India.
The bill proposes to regulate surrogacy in the country by establishing a National Surrogacy Board at the central level and state surrogacy boards and appropriate authorities in the state and union territories.
The bill’s main purpose is to ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and to allow ethical surrogacy.
The bill introduced by Harsh Vardhan said that only Indian couples who have been legally married for at least five years would be allowed to opt for surrogacy and it seeks to allow ethical altruistic surrogacy to the intending infertile Indian couple who are married between the age of 23-5 years and 26-55 years for female and male respectively.
The bill also says that w woman should be allowed to act as a surrogate mother only once and should be a close relative of the intending couple and should be an ever-married woman having a child of her own and she should be between 25-35 years of age.
As per the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries for past few years and due to lack of legislation to regulate surrogacy, the practice of surrogacy has been misused by surrogacy clinics which lead to rampant commercial surrogacy and unethical practices.