16 July 2019
New Delhi: It's the end of surrogacy in India, say experts after the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2019 was tabled in Parliament on Monday.
The Bill was termed "illogical" by some, but many also said that it was high time the practice of commercial surrogacy was checked.
Between 2010 and 2014, India had become the surrogacy capital of the world.
"It is a matter of time the Bill is passed since the government is in a majority. But the Bill is illogical. In today's world when relations between family members are turning sour and the size of families is decreasing, it will be difficult to ask your family member to be a surrogate," said Gaurav Wankhede, founder of Become Parents. The legislation allows only close relatives to become surrogates for ethical altruistic reasons.
Wankhede also emphasized the fact that between relatives and a family, it gets tougher as legally the claim of the child lies with the mother, but moral grounds also play a role.
On the other hand, fertility experts and gynecologists in the country felt that the poor or the underprivileged shouldn't be misused or pushed into it and supported the commercial exploitation.
"Yes, some people do it voluntarily, but what if their families are pushing them into it for monetary gains? I think it is a good move by the government and the underprivileged shouldn't be misused. It is better if it is done within the family. Regulations are needed to ensure people aren't pushed into it because of their socio-economic status. It will also open doors for uterus transplant which would be a good initiative," said Dr, Prabha, gynecologist and fertility expert.
The legislation allows surrogacy only for married couples who have been childless for five years. It will end commercial surrogacy, but closes the door for unmarried or divorced people to become parents. The Bill also excludes LGBT members from parenthood. Experts also felt that those who can afford will look to the countries where renting a womb is allowed.