Cabi­net pro­poses ban on com­mer­cial sur­ro­gacy

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

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 ).

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