Surrogacy bill looks to protect child’s interest


NEW DELHI: Having emerged as the hottest destination for surrogacy, it is but natural for India to take the lead in evolving a law that safeguards the interests of all the parties concerned, including the child born through assisted reproductive technology (ART). There is no precedent to the proposal under consideration that foreigners or NRIs seeking to rent a womb in India be made to give evidence that their country of residence recognized surrogacy and would give citizenship to a child born through agreement. Both conditions are reasonable as they are designed to deal with the legal uncertainties thrown up by a couple of surrogacy cases that did not pan out in the agreed manner. In the Manji Yamada case, the baby was embroiled in litigation as the commissioning Japanese parents had divorced by the time it was born in India.

And in the subsequent case involving German parents, the twins found themselves in a no-man’s-land as their country did not recognize surrogacy as a means of parenthood. The bill drafted by an ICMR expert committee is in keeping with the recommendations made by the Law Commission in August 2009. There is no way the surrogacy agreements will be enforceable unless the commissioning parents are in a position to take the child back to their country and it is accorded citizenship, which it would have automatically received had it been born to them in the natural course.

Correspondingly, the proposed law will recognise the surrogate child as the legitimate child of the commissioning parents, without there being any need for adoption or even declaration of guardianship. Such an enabling provision cannot however be enforced unilaterally. So, the government cannot just go by the word of the commissioning parents. The safeguards of the child’s interests need to have official imprimatur in the form of certificates from the foreign government concerned.

As a corollary, the legislation also provides that the birth certificate of the surrogate child given by the Indian government will have names of only the commissioning parents. In a bid to prevent abuse of the child, the government is also considering provisions stipulating that at least one of the commissioning parents needs to be a donor of the sperm or the egg. This is based on the assumption that a biological link between the commissioning parents and the surrogate child would reduce chances of abuse. Under the scheme of the proposed law, surrogacy cannot be misused for sex selection and it will be governed by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act to prevent unauthorized abortions. It also seeks to provide a measure of privacy to the commissioning and surrogate parents.


2 thoughts on “Surrogacy bill looks to protect child’s interest

  1. Recommendations are fine but corrosponding country to which Commission parents belong should also recognise citizen of child by birth then only permission to be granted.

  2. Some likely outcomes of ART bill 2010
    To comprehend these out comes we have to make some assumptions just as the drafting committee has made.1) All surrogates are bad, do it only for money. Cause they are poor. May not be true
    2) There won’t be /should not be any emotional attachment with the child. Cause even if they have they can not get even visiting rights May not be true .3) All commissioning parents need their child even if it is handicapped. May not be true 4) All commissioning parents are just within the reach of Indian law .May not be true.5) All ART centers abide by the law they just wont fudge the documents 6) All officials are prompt. May not be true

    If the commissioning parents doesn’t want the child after the surrogate getting pregnant and if they reside in a foreign country and wont return to get the child, as per the law child goes for adoption agency and may remain in an orphanage for a long time. This may happen in case of single and gay parents abroad. Cause for them a child becomes some money and a masturbation .There is no way to protect the child and financially help the surrogate mother. Surrogate becomes a looser, Even if there is a local care taker he/she won’t be guarantee for the surrogate’s fee so as the Indian govt.
    If the commissioning parents reside in foreign lands and defaults payments/ dies in case of single parents law can not reach them in case of gays what if the sperm donor dies before the child is taken to the home country, to whom the child will be given, In the case even if they are alive can we get them extradited? It is impossible.
    As per the assumptions of the drafting committee it seems that all surrogates are bad When they create a child just for getting money what if they spoil the child by taking some detrimental drugs that may retard the growth / may cause some decrease in mental ability such drugs are freely available in market. And some are there in alternative medicines ,Developed to harass the enemies in a stealthy manner. This can be done if there is no emotional attachment with the child and enimity/hatred towards the commissioning parents.
    Even if there is law officials can visit the centers once in a while to monitor. Till then the centers will be autonomous. They can/will do what ever they want to do. Even if they are caught in the act the rich centers will have various means to get out.
    So the law is detrimental to the health of the child, Wont help either the commissioning parents or the surrogate it only helps to enforce the surrogates to give up their child. And helps the centers to make a child for any one who has money to spend.

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