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Understanding the Practice of Surrogacy in India

Introduction
Surrogacy, a practice in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another individual or couple, has gained significant traction in India over the past decade. India emerged as a preferred destination for commercial surrogacy, attracting individuals from around the globe seeking alternative methods to conceive a child. However, with the introduction of stringent regulations and laws, the surrogacy landscape in India has undergone significant changes. This article seeks to delve into the practice of gestational surrogacy in India, the legal framework governing it, the process involved, and the implications for all parties involved.

Legal Framework
The regulation of surrogacy in India is primarily governed by the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020. This bill aims to streamline the surrogacy process, safeguarding the interests of all parties involved, particularly the surrogate mother. It prohibits commercial surrogacy while allowing altruistic surrogacy under certain conditions. The bill also mandates the establishment of National and State Surrogacy Boards to oversee the practice and address any disputes or grievances that may arise.

Process of Surrogacy
In India, the process of gestational surrogacy involves several key steps. Firstly, the intended parents are required to engage with a licensed surrogacy clinic to initiate the process. Following this, a surrogate mother is selected either through the clinic or independently, based on specific criteria such as age, health status, and prior successful pregnancies. Legal contracts are then drawn up between the intended parents and the surrogate mother, outlining rights, responsibilities, and financial agreements.

Medical Procedures
The medical procedures involved in surrogacy typically include in vitro fertilization (IVF), where the embryo is created using the egg and sperm of the intended parents or donors and transferred to the surrogate mother’s uterus. Throughout the pregnancy, the surrogate mother receives medical care and support to ensure the well-being of both the surrogate and the baby. The birth certificate of the child born through surrogacy reflects the intended parents as the legal guardians, as per the prevailing laws.

Implications and Considerations
While surrogacy offers a ray of hope for individuals struggling with infertility, it also raises a multitude of ethical, legal, and emotional considerations. The practice of surrogacy in India has been criticized for various reasons, including concerns over exploitation of surrogate mothers, lack of comprehensive regulatory framework, and the potential commodification of human life. Intended parents must carefully weigh these factors before embarking on the surrogacy journey.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Surrogacy in India

1. Is commercial surrogacy legal in India?
Commercial surrogacy has been banned in India since the enforcement of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020. Only altruistic surrogacy is permitted under specific circumstances.

2. What are the eligibility criteria for becoming a surrogate mother in India?
Surrogate mothers in India typically need to be between the ages of 21-35, must have prior successful pregnancies, and should undergo medical and psychological screening.

3. Are same-sex couples allowed to opt for surrogacy in India?
Under the current legal framework, single individuals, including same-sex couples, are not permitted to pursue surrogacy in India.

4. Can foreign nationals avail of surrogacy services in India?
Following amendments to the law, foreign nationals, PIOs (Persons of Indian Origin), and OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cardholders are now prohibited from seeking surrogacy services in India.

5. What happens in case of disputes between the surrogate mother and intended parents?
The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020, mandates the establishment of Surrogacy Boards to address disputes and grievances that may arise during the surrogacy process.

6. Are intended parents obliged to provide financial compensation to the surrogate mother in India?
While altruistic surrogacy does not involve commercial gain, intended parents are typically required to cover medical expenses, monthly allowances, and other reasonable costs associated with the surrogacy arrangement.

Conclusion
In conclusion, surrogacy in India has evolved significantly over the years, with a shift towards altruistic practices and greater regulatory oversight. While it continues to offer a viable solution for individuals and couples facing fertility challenges, it is essential to navigate the process with caution, considering the legal, ethical, and emotional aspects involved. By understanding the legal framework, process, implications, and FAQs surrounding surrogacy in India, individuals can make informed decisions and approach the journey with clarity and awareness.

Diya Patel
Diya Patel
Diya Patеl is an еxpеriеncеd tеch writеr and AI еagеr to focus on natural languagе procеssing and machinе lеarning. With a background in computational linguistics and machinе lеarning algorithms, Diya has contributеd to growing NLP applications.

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