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Proposed surrogacy Law will close window of parenthood for singles

April,16,2017:

Experts feel bar on singles and live ins from opting for surrogacy was violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

Surrogacy Bill,2016
Surrogacy Bill,2016

Bollywood celebs like Karan Johar & Tusshar Kapoor became fathers through surrogacy but other aspiring singles may not be able to experience parenthood since proposed law restricts this method by allowing legally wedded couples only.

Several experts including doctors and lawyers, barring a few, were of the view that window of surrogacy shouldn’t be closed for single parents & the couples should’ve the option to choose any person who isn’t a close relative as a surrogate mother.

However, senior adv. Shekhar Naphade had a different take on the issue. While maintaining that it’s become a “fashion” among the celebrities to become a single parent & he advocated doing away with the provision to allow only couple’s close relative to be a surrogate mother.

Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, introduced in Lok Sabha previous year, also faced criticism from the practitioners of family law like Anil Malhotra and Priya Hingorani, who condemned the provisions which take away the rights of gays & lesbians from attaining parenthood with a clause that only legally wedded people can go for surrogacy.

This proposed law bars all others like single parents, unmarried couples, live-in partners & homosexuals from opting children through surrogacy.

Anil Malhotra said that the prohibition on unmarried couples & others from opting for the method of surrogacy was violative of the Article 14 of the Indian Constitution which provides equality before law & equal protection.

As per the bill, the intending couples must be legally married for at least 5 years & should be Indian citizens to undertake surrogacy which would be allowed only for selfless reasons. It specifies the age limit for an infertile couple also, where woman should be aged between 23 to 50 years & man between 26 to 55 years.

Shekhar Naphade, who has filed a petition in the Apex Court opposing commercialization of surrogacy, said he doesn’t subscribe to the concept of ‘single parent’ & there should be a time frame only after which a married couple can go for surrogacy.

He contended that it shouldn’t be a some substitute for having a child through an unnatural process, the child should’ve both a mother and a father. When child goes out in the society, he’ll have a problem if he doesn’t have a father or a mother. It’s in larger interest of the child.

 

In January 2017, the Rajya Sabha’s Chairman had referred the legislation, as introduced in the Lok Sabha in November 2016, to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health & Family Welfare for the in-depth examination. Parliamentary panel has invited suggestions on legislation from all the stakeholders.

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15.11.2015 – Can Law tame the ‘Wild West’ of Surrogacy industry worth Rs.2,400 Crore in India

Law Commission Report No. 228- Need for Legislation to Regulate Assisted Reproductive Technology Clinics as Well as Rights and Obligations of Parties to a Surrogacy

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