Wednesday, August 24, 2016

[India] Draft bill on surrogacy to be taken by Cabinet tomorrow

Whilst not a surprise, it is disappointing to see that gay men are continuing to be excluded.

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet is likely to take up draft Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 - aimed at giving more legitimacy to surrogacy and safeguard rights of surrogate mothers - on Wednesday.

The draft bill suggests carving out provisions in the law to make parentage of such children "legal and transparent". It also plans to close the door to surrogacy for unmarried couples, those who already have adopted children and foreigners in India, sources said.

Another key suggestion in the draft bill is to limit such an arrangement to the kith, kin and friends. However, officials said, there are divergent views on this proposal and hence, it is likely to be discussed further before being accepted.

The draft bill is primarily aimed at keeping a check on malpractices and exploitation of women, mainly in the vulnerable section of the society.

The proposal has been listed as an agenda item for the Cabinet meeting which will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sources said today.

The draft has already been cleared by Group of Ministers (GoM) after consideration. The GoM was constituted at the behest of the Prime Minister's Office. Apart from Health Minister J P Nadda, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, were among those part of the GoM.

The proposed bill also bars gay couples and keep surrogacy eligible only to those who are "Indian, married and infertile".

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