April 21, 2024

India may legalise commercial surrogacy

Wombs for rent, even for singles and gay couples

India has become a world centre for surrogate
motherhood. Now the government proposes to legalise commercial surrogacy. The
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) [Regulation] Bill 2010
 will allow unmarried women to act as
surrogates for both couples and singles, including homosexuals. It is a radical
measure in socially conservative India which could deliver big profits to the
country’s aggressive IVF industry.

A Law
Commission report
had described the ART industry in 2009 as a “pot
of gold”. “Wombs in India are on rent which translates into babies for
foreigners and dollars for Indian surrogate mothers,” the report stated.

The commission recommended legalising only
altruistic surrogacy arrangements and not commercial ones. But the draft Bill
legalises commercial surrogacy as well.

A Mumbai clinic which specialises in services
for gay couples, Rotunda, welcomed the news. “Renting a womb could soon become
a completely legal and hassle-free experience, both for Indian as well as
foreign couples looking for surrogate mothers in the country,” it said in a press release.
~ Hindustan
Times, June 21

Michael Cook