Bill soon to regulate fast expanding business of surrogacy

Last Updated: Aug 02, 2013, 23:51 PM IST

New Delhi: Keen on bringing a new bill to regulate the fast expanding business of surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology clinics, the Department of Health Research today said there is no proposal to have an expert committee to relook the proposed legislation.

Holding that the bill is a comprehensive legislation framed after discussions with all stakeholders and which takes care of the interests of the woman and child during surrogacy, the Department of Health

Research in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare wants the legislation enacted soon.

Besides framing regulations for surrogacy, the draft Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill circulated to various ministries seeks to regulate the ART clinics and banks across the country and proposes to set up a national registry for them which will be a central data bank.

The Department has called for early enactment of the bill saying a lot of time has gone into holding of discussions and seeking of suggestions from various stakeholders.

"At present, there is no proposal to have any expert committee in the Department of Health Research to look into the draft ART (Regulation) Bill," said a senior official in the Department.

"There is urgent need to have a law to regulate ART clinics and put in place regulations for surrogacy. This is a very important bill and we are very serious to introduce it in Parliament," he said.

Officials said the interests of the mother and child during surrogacy have been taken care of in the proposed legislation and all stakeholders have been taken into confidence.

"We have discussed the Bill with all stakeholders... All discussions have taken place, but we are open to all suggestions at various stages," he said.

"Women and children rights have been adequately addressed and we feel the bill is comprehensive and addresses all concerns," they said.

The Department of Health Research has held several rounds of discussions with various stakeholders starting in 2005 and around 3,982 suggestions have been received and many of them included in the draft legislation.

The bill seeks to regulate the functioning of ART clinics and banks to ensure that the services provided by them are ethical and that medical, social and legal rights of those concerned are protected.