Wednesday saw some of the most needed changes in the Surrogacy bill being approved by the central cabinet. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020 allowing any “willing” woman to be a surrogate mother was approved. Further, the bill now allows widows and divorced women to avail benefit from its provisions, besides infertile Indian couples.
The new bill has taken in almost all the inputs of the Rajya Sabha’s select committee. The earlier version of the bill called for banning commercial surrogacy and allowing altruistic surrogacy. Commercial surrogacy will continue to be prohibited.
This includes sale and purchase of human embryos and gametes. Ethical surrogacy to Indian married couples, Indian-origin married couples and Indian single woman (only widow or divorcee between the age of 35 and 45 years) will be allowed on fulfillment of certain conditions, said officials.
The new bill is a reformed version of the bill passed by Lok Sabha in August last year. Some of the key features of the bill are:
- Establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level and,
- State Surrogacy Board and appropriate authorities in states and Union Territories respectively
- Increase in insurance cover for surrogate mother to 36 months from 16 month
The bill is likely to be tabled in the second half of the Budget Session beginning next month.
Inputs from Livemint