There is no second thought or doubt that women are exploited in the name of surrogacy. Their body are sometimes used for making babies for commercial purposes where women are also happy because they get money and obviously the person who is influencing the woman to be a surrogate mother is happy because now he or she can do whatever. In a layman’s language, commercial surrogacy refers to the kind of surrogacy where it is done for the financial benefits and also involves the compensation beyond the medical expenses and insurances at the time of pregnancy.
Lately, the government of India realized this by constant pressure from the women groups. They felt the need to stop the exploitation of women by introducing a progressive Bill which will regulate the Surrogacy in India with some more rules and regulations. In 2016, it was introduced in Lok Sabha named as Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, but was blocked by the Rajya Sabha . In 2017, it mentioned some more changes which are progressive in nature to the old legislation creating, Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019. It pushed for providing more bodily autonomy to women where they can take up commercial surrogacy and get compensated for the same. The reason mentioned for that is the exploitation of women takes place because there is lack of regulatory oversight and legal protection to the surrogate. If that could be changed, then there is no problem for commercial surrogacy.
Now, the bill actually proposes to create a National Surrogacy Board which will be involved in policymaking at the central level. Further, there will also be State Surrogacy Boards and appropriate authorities which will act as executive bodies in the States in Union Territories. It also outlaws or put a stop to the commercial surrogacy and only allows for altruistic surrogacy which will involve no additional monetary compensation to the surrogate.
Another clause mentioned in the bill requires the couples to be married for atleast 5 years if they opt for surrogacy. At the time of the surrogacy, they should possess a ‘certificate of essentiality’ that means they are proven to be infertile and are not able to produce babies. Also, the babies are not allowed to be used for sale, prostitution or other forms of exploitation.
Further, it specifies that the surrogacy can be opted by the heterosexual couple with a man ages of 26 and 55 years and a woman between the ages of 25 and 50 years. There should also be no other biological or adopted or surrogate children (unless the child is physically/ mentally challenged or has a life threatening disorder) with the couple. It mentions that the surrogate should be a close relative of the couple’s family, ages between 25 and 35 years of age.
Therefore, the key takeaway from the above stated facts is that the couple seeking child should be married for atleast 5 years and there is no place for commercial surrogacy that is the kind of surrogacy which involves additional monetary benefits apart from the medical expenses and insurance. It is not allowed and the person found doing that will be booked for the same and get imprisonment extending to 10 years and fine up to Rs. 10 lakh. So, the couple should avoid doing that and opt for altruistic surgery.