Answer by Ashutosh Pandey:
31.Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) (Regulation) Bill 2010. (Surrogacy is the in-thing now)
An act to provide for a national framework for the accreditations, regulation and supervision of assisted reproductive technology clinics, for prevention of misuse of assisted reproductive technology, for safe and ethical practice of assisted reproductive technology services and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Key Issues and Analysis
the current draft bill suffers from a crucial flaw in the form of misplaced priorities namely
1.Restriction for Foreign Couples
Central Government themselves unclear on what exactly should be the provisions in the legislation to regulate surrogacy; the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) (Regulation) Bill 2010. While the Ministry of Home Affairs considers gay couples and single foreigners as ineligible to have a child through surrogacy in India, the Ministry of Health and Family welfare along with Women and Child Development ministry have opined that surrogacy should be allowed for everyone without discrimination.
The Definition of the term “couple” in the 2010 draft bill includes all couples living together and having a sexual relation legalised in India.However, the 2013 draft has also brought in a few definitional changes to the previous bill. The term “couple” in the present draft is defined as a man and woman living in a shared household in a relationship along the lines of marriage, thus restricting foreign unmarried couples and singles from seeking to have a child through surrogacy.Since most of the revenue for commercial surrogacy in India comes from clients outside the country, it is expected that such strict norms would see the surrogacy industry in other developing countries like Thailand surpassing and replacing the same in from India.
2.Rights of the Surrogate Mother
Surrogacy in India involves moral and ethical issues as much as commercial ones. The surrogate mother is be exposed to the society's disapproval amongst other problems. The present bill mentions that consent of the husband of the surrogate must be taken before undergoing any agreement with the intended parents.
Even though the bill does mandate the number of times a woman may undergo live births and embryo transfers, it does not mention any other provisions for her welfare or safeguarding her from any health hazards.
Additionally the lack of codifying other welfare needs such as counselling and support in instances of miscarriages or post-martum depression makes it seem as if the bill tilts a little in favour of the client and against the surrogate. Thus it is argued that there should be separate legal representation for the surrogate mother.