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Is Surrogacy Legal In India?

Simply put, surrogacy is legal in India, but commercial surrogacy is not. In India, you see, there are varied views on surrogacy, but the law stands with traditional surrogacy and makes it legal in India. If you are more interested in knowing the actual laws regarding surrogacy in India, then keep on reading because that’s what we are all about today. Here we go.


What Are Surrogacy Regulations in India?

The term “surrogacy” is, by definition, an arrangement or method whereby a woman undertakes to carry and deliver a child for another couple, or person. In India, surrogacy has been categorized under two types: gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother doesn’t have a genetic linkage with the child she carries, unlike in traditional surrogacy. Usually, gestational surrogacy involves Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) like In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). In fact, only gestational surrogacy is allowed within the current Indian law.

What Does The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021 Say?

The Act allows for only altruistic surrogacy and disallows commercial surrogacy, wherein the surrogate bears a child for intending couples for monetary benefits beyond medical expenses and insurance coverage during the period of surrogacy. The law stated that only Indian couples who are legally married for certain years and are fulfilling some specific health criteria should be the only eligible cases for surrogacy. Also, the legislation requires that a surrogate woman should be married, should have had a child herself, and meet certain age and health standards. It specifically didn’t discriminate against single individuals and foreigners opting for surrogacy within the country.

Ongoing Legal Debates

Recent amendments to the surrogacy regulation have been passed in relation to the use of donor gametes. They will be allowed under medical conditions only within marriage. Thus, the amendment allows one of the partners to have a child using donor gametes combined with his or her own. Further, recent amendments have now made it possible for single women, that is, either divorced or widowed, to undertake surrogacy using their eggs with donor sperm.

Sure, surrogacy raises many ethical questions regarding the rights and welfare of the surrogate mother. In India, social stigma is often associated with surrogates, but the law tries to protect the rights of surrogate mothers and their fair treatment. There’s an ongoing debate that juxtaposes surrogacy with adoption, evaluating which option more effectively upholds the rights of all parties, including the child.


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