My answer to What is your opinion about the New Indian Surrogacy bill 2016?
This is a google pic of surrogacy center in India. Do you find even one surrogate doing it because she wants to do it? If I may stretch to a bigger aspect: Is commercial surrogacy really that different from prostitution? In both an economically challenged women is selling a part of her body for monetary gains. There is emotional abuse in both. Do you really think that there will be no emotions attached to the child once the surrogate parts with child after carrying for 9 months for ‘n’ amount?
A little background I am a working doctor in a major hospital, I feel most doctors that have worked in gynecology department will understand the points I am making.
Few medical terms to make things clear:
IVF- In- vitro fertilization is method of fertilizing the egg (union of sperm and egg)= EMBRYO outside the body in case natural union is not happening due to n number of causes.
Post IVF procedure if the wife can carry out pregnancy with a healthy uterus then these IVF embryos are transfers in the wife.
If for some reason, the wife cannot carry the IVF embroys then arrives the need for a surrogate (external uterus).
Surrogates are of two types-
- One who does for altruistic reasons- no money exchange involved. Usually a relative/close friend.
- Commercial surrogacy- a women selling her womb for a set money. This is the part where the Surrogacy bill 2016 is making standards not the IVF procedure or Altruistic surrogacy.
On most aspects I find the surrogacy bill to be a positive change rating it a 9/10.
Let me make an attempt to answer in a point-wise manner as seen in the bill.
- Have to be married for atleast 5 years with proven infertility with no biological/adopted children- I feel this is a positive move in major aspect. It will help avoid neglect of the surrogate child in future as well as help in keeping check our population explosion. Everyone would like a girl and boy or in many cases boy after boy, hell I would like to have 5 kids if I am lucky. But is it feasible? Am I financially viable to feed, educate and take care of them in respect to time and energy?Unlikely if I as well as my future husband both are working. The 5 year gap helps to understand the unknown cause of fertility as many couples that do not in this point conceive in early part of marriage might in following 5 years. The con is if a couple decides to marry in later age 31–32 year(very common in metros) then they have to wait 36–37 years to be considered for surrogacy which will further push their age 57 year when child turns 20!
- Live-in/homosexuals/single parents will not be allowed surrogacy- Considering the same point as above in regard to neglect of surrogate as there is no legal bond in case of separation of couple. The same is even the consideration in case of child adoption. Would you really want to keep a child post separation that is not your biological child, the percentage is low sadly that still keep , up bring the child with wholeheart and not as a burden.
- NRI/Foreigners will not be allowed for surrogacy in India- The reason there is medical tourism in India is due to low cost involved in comparison to their country. There is no legal binding for such couples to keep the surrogates. In many cities even a birth certificate is not issue as the couple wish to register the child in their own country for nationality reasons.
- If the people going against this bill would only know the number of children abandoned /thrown in dustbin/adoption agencies as they had no takers. This is not necessarily for child born with birth defect or congenital anomaly but for different skin color/sex than they were promised. NRI/foreign nationals have no legal binding in India to still retain the Surrogate child irrespective of any condition thus most run away.
- Thus the need for a fine and jail term of 10 years- not just for the couples but also for doctors doing it illegally.
- For many corporate Hospitals it is big business and huge money is involved. I just hope we don’t compromise on our humanity for money at least in this aspect. I really appreciate what our government is trying to do, make some amends in way Indian labor is used in India/International.
- Encouraging altruistic surrogacy is a positive step. A mother who carries the child needs some emotional justification for giving the child away which no amount of money can provide. Also this Bill will mention the clear rights of the surrogate mother on the child which is not clear till date.
- Surrogate needs to have a biological child of her own and needs to be married-this is an absolute must. Not to mention the n number of changes that happen in a woman’s body post pregnancy.
Dear quoran above is confused -surrogacy and being a single parent is not one and same thing. A person can be single parent (not just woman but also man) with own child -unmarried (like Nina Gupta),post divorce (eg:Konkana Sharma) or via adoption(like Sushmita Sen) or can also undergo an IVF procedure with donor sperm (like in movie The Back-up plan). Hope my answer helps.