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.