India no longer allows foreign nationals to hire surrogates

rp_nepal-surrogacy_small-300x205.jpgThe government in India has now barred foreign nationals from hiring women to be surrogates under its proposed Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Regulation Bill, 2014.

The proposed legislation aims at proper regulation and supervision of ART clinics and banks in the country and to prevent misuse of this technology, including surrogacy, and for safe and ethical practice of these services.

“The Bill was under consideration in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for quite some time.

The proposed legislation aims at proper regulation and supervision of ART clinics and banks in the country and to prevent misuse of this technology, including surrogacy, and for safe and ethical practice of these services

The proposed legislation aims at proper regulation and supervision of ART clinics and banks in the country and to prevent misuse of this technology, including surrogacy, and for safe and ethical practice of these services

“The Government has focused on the rights of surrogates ensuring the legal, wise and safe practice of surrogacy. Recently, we have seen exploitation of surrogates and several ART clinics across India practicing the technique without any rules and regulations,” said Dr Manish Banker, member, Draft Committee for ART Bill of India, ICMR.

Centre’s rider

The Government has proposed that surrogacy for foreigners in India shall not be allowed but surrogacy shall only be permissible to overseas citizens of India (OCIs), people of Indian origin (PIOs), non resident Indians (NRIs) and any foreigner married to an Indian citizen.

The eligible couple will have to produce a duly notarised agreement with the prospective Indian surrogate mother.

Further, they have to produce an undertaking that they would take care of the child/children born through surrogacy. Moreover, commissioning surrogacy in India would not be easy for foreigners married to an Indian because there are other conditions to do so.

The Bill makes it mandatory for the couple to be married with the marriage sustaining for at least two years.

They will further need to submit a certificate, attested by the appropriate government authority of that country, conveying that the woman is unable to conceive.

Citizenship

The Government has also said that the child born to a foreigner married to an Indian citizen by sperm or egg donation, or surrogacy in India, then the child will not be an Indian citizen, despite being born in India, and will be entitled to Overseas Citizenship of India under Section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

The ART fraternity believes that the new rules will severely affect ‘fertility tourism’ in India.

“This will affect the burgeoning fertility tourism in India. It will affect the economy also. It will be discouraging for foreigners as well as ART clinics, which mostly have foreigners as their clients,” said Dr Gaurav Malhotra, CEO and MD, Bourn Hall international India, In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) Centre.

The ART Bill also has stern rules for surrogates. It says that any woman agreeing to act as a surrogate shall be duty-bound not to engage in any act, including unprotected sex that may harm the foetus during pregnancy and the child after birth, until the time the child is handed over to the designated commissioning couple.

Article By Neetu Chandra Sharma

 
 

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