Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction that helps intended parents start or grow families when they can't do so on their own.
According to the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, Surrogacy is defined as "a practice whereby one woman carries the child for another with the intention that the child should be handed over after birth".
Surrogacy is of two types:
1. Altruistic surrogacy: It involves an arrangement where the couple does not pay the surrogate mother any compensation other than the medical and insurance expenses related to the pregnancy.
2. Commercial surrogacy: It includes compensation in cash or kind paid to the surrogate mother.
The intending couple must be Indian citizens and married for at least 5 years with at least one of them being infertile.
It permits surrogacy only for couples who cannot conceive a child.
The surrogate mother has to be a ‘close relative’ of the intending couple.
No payment other than reasonable medical expenses can be made to the surrogate mother.
The surrogate child will be considered as the biological child of the intending couple.
Indian central and state governments will appoint appropriate authorities to grant eligibility certificates to the intending couple and the surrogate mother.
The Bill prohibits commercial surrogacy, makes it a punishable offence. Its advertisement, and exploitation of the surrogate mother a punishable offence with imprisonment for 10 years and a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh.