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Law Commission recommends legal sanction to surrogacy

Last Updated: Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 18:11

New Delhi: The Law Commission has recommended giving legal sanction to surrogacy and to prohibit its commercial use by making it mandatory for one of the parents wanting to have child through it to be a donor.

"Non-intervention of law in this knotty issue will not be proper at a time when the law is to act as an ardent defender of human liberty and an instrument of positive entitlement," the Commission headed by Justice A R Lakshmanan, a retired Supreme Court judge, said in its latest report.
Emphasising on the need to have a legislation to deal with issues related to surrogacy, the Commission said legal issues related with surrogacy are very complex and need a comprehensive legislation.

"The need of hour is to adopt a pragmatic approach by legalising altruistic surrogacy arrangements and prohibit the commercial ones," the report said.

It felt that such a legislation dealing with surrogacy would help reduce the chances of various kinds of child abuse in cases of adoption.

Advocating the cause of surrogacy as a matter of right the Commission in its report said, "If reproductive right gets constitutional protection, surrogacy which allows an infertile couple to exercise that right also gets the same protection."
The Commission was against putting any kind of ban on surrogacy since it comes as a boon for childless couples.

"Prohibition on vague moral grounds without a proper assessment of social ends and purposes which surrogacy can serve would be irrational," it said.

The Commission recommended comprehensive provisions dealing with pre and post surrogacy period and also rights and protection of surrogate mother and child as well as intending parents.

Taking up the issue on its own, it observed that comparative cost advantage in India has made it a favourable destination for foreign couples and a whole branch of medical tourism has flourished on the surrogate practice.
"It seems that wombs in India are on rent which translates into babies for foreigners and dollars for Indian surrogate mothers," the report said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 18:11

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