Surrogacy should be governed by laws, not market: Panel

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.

PTI



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

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