Cabinet clears bill on surrogacy making parentage of surrogate children legal and transparent

New Delhi: A draft bill which aims to safeguard the rights of surrogate mothers and make parentage of such children legal was cleared by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday.

According to the Health Ministry proposal, the draft Surrogacy Bill, 2016 aims at regulating commissioning of surrogacy in the country in a proper manner.

Cabinet clears bill on surrogacy making parentage of surrogate children legal and transparent

Representational Image. AP.

A Group of Ministers (GoM) had recently cleared the bill and had referred it to the Union Cabinet for a final call.

The GoM was constituted at the behest of the Prime Minister's Office.

Apart from Health Minister J P Nadda, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal were among those part of the GoM.

The government had recently admitted that in the absence of a statutory mechanism to control commissioning of surrogacy at present, there have been cases of pregnancies by way of surrogacy, including in rural and tribal areas, leading to possible exploitation of women by unscrupulous elements.

The bill was to be taken up by the Union Cabinet on 27 April, but it was dropped from the agenda at the last moment.

To prevent exploitation of women, especially those in rural and tribal areas, the government has prohibited foreigners from commissioning surrogacy in the country and has drafted this comprehensive legislation, the sources said.

Sushma Swaraj confirmed that the Surrogacy Bill will prohibit commercial surrogacy & allow ethical surrogacy to needy infertile couples. Swaraj reiterated the need for the bill citing reports of unethical practices as India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples & incidents, as reported by ANI.

Altruistic surrogacy surgery, Swaraj said will be allowed only for Indian citizens, not NRIs or OCI card holders.Single parents, homosexual couples, live-in relationships couples will also not be allowed altruistic surrogacy.

The government had recently said in Parliament that provisions are being made in the draft Bill to make parentage of children born out of surrogacy "legal and transparent".

With inputs from agencies.

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Updated Date: Aug 24, 2016 16:05:26 IST

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