Moving the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 for passage, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan said only Indian couples married for at least five years will be allowed to opt for surrogacy and the intending couple should have a “certificate of essentiality” and a “certificate of eligibility” issued by the appropriate authority.
The couple should be between 23 to 50 years old (wife) and 26 to 55 years old (husband). They must not have any surviving child (biological, adopted or surrogate). This would not include a child who is mentally or physically challenged or suffers from a life threatening disorder or fatal illness.
As per the Bill, the intending couple will be allowed surrogacy after a District Medical Board gives certificate of infertility of one or both members. An order of parentage and custody of the surrogate child passed by a Magistrate’s court is also needed for the intended couple.
The Bill defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to a child for an intending couple.
The surrogate mother has to be a close relative of the intending couple and she should be married and have a child of her own. The surrogate mother should be 25 to 35 years old and she will surrogate only once in her lifetime. She also has to have a certificate of medical and psychological fitness for surrogacy.
The surrogate mother also cannot provide her own gametes for surrogacy.
The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha in December, 2018 but lapsed as it could not get the nod from Parliament.