Cabinet proposes ban on commercial surrogacy
THE UNION Cabinet has approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, proposing a ban on commercial surrogacy. Seeking to alter India's image as a surrogacy hub, it stipulates that only childless, heterosexual Indian couples who have been married for five years and are living in India can avail fertility treatment. And if the couple need to find a surrogate to carry the baby, they have to seek a relative who will do it out of altruism. Critics say the draft bill negates the rights of parenthood to single persons, divorcees, widowed persons, same-sex couples, live-in partners and others. According to the draft bill, if a woman indulges in commercial surrogacy, she would be sentenced to a jail term of at least 10 years and a fine of up to ` 10 lakh (see `Umblical Discourse', p 64 ).