In recent years, there have been numerous couples that have dimmed their rays of hope, Surrogacy with the introduction of Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016. Surrogacy has been a boon in several lives and not to forget some of the biggest film stars like Shahrukh Khan, Karan Johar, Tusshar Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor. But recently there was seen in a shift where this hope of having a baby, was lost by many.
The Lok Sabha passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 on 19th December 2018 which encouraged altruistic Surrogacy whereby laying a comprehensive ban on the commercial activities related to Surrogacy. In recent times, it has been seen the emotional factor connected with Surrogacy has been dwindling and waning thereby, giving greater accentuate to the profit-making aspect of it.
Due to the numerous deviances in the lives of the youth of our country like long and erratic hours of work cultures, lifestyle changes, hormonal imbalances, insufficient dietary habits, increasing stress and even unwanted weight gain. These all are contributory factors to the problem of infertility which tends to people becoming more dependent on processes like Surrogacy.
Whereas, this bill states that only Indian married couples who have been married for atleast 5 years can only go in for Altruistic Surrogacy. Altruistic Surrogacy thereby means that the surrogate mother shall not be compensated (in cash or in kind) except for the medical expenses borne by her. The law also states that, the Surrogate Mother for the expecting parents must be a “close” relative of the prospective parents. Therefore, the surrogate child born complying out of the rules and regulations of this law will be believed to be the biological child of the expecting couples.
Dr. Rita Bakshi, IVF Expert, Senior Gynaecologist and Founder, International Fertility Centre states that “It is mindless for the couple to wait for 5 years to know that they are Infertile. One can easily get to know in one or two years that either of the person from the couple is infertile. The law has a major disadvantage here. Along with this, the law complete negates the sentiments and gushes of the people who aspire to single parents or even homosexuals for that matter.”
The prospective mother and the father of the surrogate child should be of the ages 23-50 and 26-55 respectively. The introduction of this law, seeks to put a complete ban on the commercial aspect of Surrogacy and aims at shutting down all the shops that incur additional costs other than the medical expenses of the surrogate mother.
There are also several rules for the surrogate mother and the intending couples. The Central and State Governments will assign appropriate authorities to accord or grant eligibility certificates to the intending couple and the surrogate mother. These authorities will also control the surrogacy clinics in the country. The surrogate mother or the “close relative” must have a child of her own and must be of 25-35 years old. Also, she can only be surrogate mother once in her lifetime.
“The ‘close’ relative of the childless couples might not be willing to be surrogate mothers. They might take it to be a burden and cut away all their bonds with the intending parents. With this decision, the government seeks to victimize and increase the misery of the intending parents” Dr. Bakshi further added.
Anybody spotted with not complying with the rules and regulations shall have to pay a hefty sum of Rs. 10 lakh along with imprisonment for 10 years which is non-bailable and non-compoundable.
“The government should have made several changes before passing the law and also catered to the oppositions interest and should not have passed this law in a haste as it still has several major downsides as well. The government could have set guidelines for administered surrogacy. It could fix a minimum amount for payment to prevent misuse and exploitation to surrogates” Dr. Bakshi concludes.
This Bill needs to be put down since several people in the society are in pain. There hopes have been shattered and are completely devastated. There requires regulation and not a complete ban.