New Delhi: As part of an effort to understand key issues related to surrogacy and the challenges it poses, a Parliamentary panel will visit Anand, Gujarat, which is often termed as the “surrogacy capital of India”, along with Hyderabad and Mumbai, to interact with surrogate mothers and doctors. The group will also visit clinics.
The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2019 was passed in the Lok Sabha last year but, in the upper House, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had moved a motion and referred the bill to a 23-member select committee on 21 November after some members raised objections.
The Rajya Sabha members had sought a number of amendments in certain provisions of the bill, including one which allows only a “close relative” to act as a surrogate to couples who have been legally married for at least five years. The members had raised concerns on the condition of a close relative.
“The members will visit meet surrogate mothers, doctors, they will look at clinics, the entire health department and the system being followed. A report will be prepared on this after interacting with them,” said a source.
Some of the key issues that they will look at include whether a single parent is allowed to use a surrogate mother? Should the identity of the surrogate mother be hidden? And what will be the exact definition of a close relative who will be the surrogate?
“There are a number of key issues that have to be looked at, including when a single parent is allowed to adopt a child why can’t they be allowed to use a surrogate mother? At the same time, it is important to understand who will be considered a close-relative. How exactly will it be defined? These issues have to be dealt with in the bill,” the source added.
The committee will also look at the ways of banning commercial surrogacy. According to the bill, the eligibility for a surrogate mother has been defined as one who is a close relative of the intending couple, a married woman having a child of her own and in the age-group of 25 to 35 years, who will be a surrogate only once in her lifetime and possess a certificate of medical and psychological fitness for surrogacy. Further, the surrogate mother cannot provide her own gametes for surrogacy.
News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.