New Delhi: Salient features of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, cleared by the Union cabinet on Wednesday:
 
Who can go for surrogacy:
Only Indian couples, who are legally married
The couple must be married for at least five years 
The couple will have to produce a medical certificate testifying that either partner is medically unfit to produce children
 
Who cannot go for surrogacy:
  • Foreigners, NRIs and even OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card holders 
  • Same sex couples, live-in partners 
  • Couples having one or more children, either biological or adopted
 
Who can become a surrogate mother?
  • Only a married woman with at least one child 
  • Surrogate mother must be a close relation of the couple seeking surrogacy
  • A woman is allowed to surrogate only once 
  • A couple can avail surrogacy only once in their lifetime
 
What is legal protection?
  • Surrogacy clinics must be registered with the government
  • Illegally operating clinics, or those flouting norms may be punished with 10 years imprisonment and/or Rs 10 lakh fine 
  • Clinics required to maintain each case record for 25 years
 
Rights versus wrongs:
  • A surrogate child, whether boy or girl, cannot be abandoned by parents 
  • A surrogate child will have all the rights that a biological child has, including right to property
  • A surrogate mother cannot be mistreated by the clinic or the parent couple.