Surrogacy should be governed by laws, not market: Panel
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Last Updated: Friday, December 11, 2009, 22:33
New Delhi: Repulsed by commercialisation of surrogacy using reproductive technologies, the Law Commission has proposed a legislation to restrict it to altruistic arrangements and clearly define the rights of commissioning parents, child and the volunteering mother.

It also proposed that surrogacy should be governed by contract among the commissioning parents and the surrogate mother.

The contract should "contain all terms requiring consent of surrogate mother to bear child, agreement of her husband and family, medical procedures of artificial insemination, reimbursement of all reasonable expenses and willingness to hand over the child to the commissioning parents. But such arrangement should not be for commercial purposes," it said in its latest report to the government.

The Commission said surrogacy involved conflict of various interests and had the inscrutable impact on family, and hence non-intervention of law in the "knotty issue" would not be proper.

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

The Commission said active legistative intervention was required to facilitate correct uses of assisted reproductive technologies and relinquishing the "cocooned approach" to legalisation of surrogacy.

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

The Commission said the draft Bill prepared by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) was "full of lacunae" and "incomplete", but added that it was, however, a "beacon to move forward" in the direction of preparing legislation to regulate not only ART clinics, but also rights and obligations of all the parties to a surrogacy, including the child.

The report recommended that the surrogacy arrangement should provide for financial support for surrogate child in the event of death of the commissioning couple or individual before delivery of the child, or divorce between the intended parents and subsequent willingness of none to take delivery of the child.

Among other recommendations included insurance cover for surrogate mother, one of the intended parents should be a donor, recognition to surrogate child as legitimate child of the commissioning parents and prohibition of sex-selective surrogacy.


First Published: Friday, December 11, 2009, 22:33

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