May 28, 2024

Defending the rights of surrogate mothers in India

Commercial surrogacy is booming in India.

Commercial surrogacy is booming in India. It has, so far, gone unregulated – but an assisted-reproduction technologies (ART) bill is in the works. However, researchers from an NGO, the women’s health group Sama, have expressed concerns about the bill. “The many ethical issues that are emerging out of unrestrained spread of the technologies remain,” they write. The legislation aims to protect the rights of surrogate mothers, but Sama argues that it favours the rights of the commissioning couple over theirs.

The law would stipulate that only women between the ages of 21 and 35 can be surrogates. It sets a maximum number of 5 live births – an increase from 3 in the previous draft. Sama notes, however, that it does not address the number of ART cycles a woman can undergo, an important issue for women’s health.

“Most clinics provide protection to the woman in many ways, looking after her health, nutrition, daily needs, and some will even offer to take care of her family,” said Dr Ruma Satwik of the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi. “We have all kinds of legal documents to protect the commissioning couple,” Dr Satwik said. “The surrogate mother stands to lose in the absence of concrete laws to protect her, and the provisions of the ART Bill are probably not enough.” ~ New York Times, Oct 4

Defending the rights of surrogate mothers in India
Jared Yee