Surrogacy Law in India 2023: Law, Regulations and Eligibility

Surrogacy Law in India 2023: Law, Regulations and Eligibility

In recent years, the Government of India has made some significant changes in surrogacy law. In 2023, India implemented new surrogacy rules and regulations to ensure ethical practices and protect the rights of all parties involved.

The new surrogacy law in India, implemented in 2023, legalizes surrogacy while introducing stricter regulations to safeguard the interests of all parties involved. By focusing on altruistic surrogacy, eligibility criteria, legal protection, and the establishment of a National Surrogacy Board, India aims to create a more ethical and transparent surrogacy framework.

Table of Content

Surrogacy Definition As Per Indian Law

Looking to understand the term "surrogacy" as defined by Indian Law? 

In simple words, surrogacy is a process where a woman carries (Surrogate) and delivers a child for another person or couple. But what does Indian Law says about surrogacy?

Surrogacy, as defined by the Indian Law of 2023, is a process that involves a surrogate mother carrying a child on behalf of the intended parents. It is important to note that this arrangement can only take place if the surrogate willingly offers her services without any financial gain. The purpose of this regulation is to prevent the exploitation of women and maintain the dignity of surrogates.

New Surrogacy Law in India

Surrogacy law in India has undergone significant changes in 2023, resulting in a revamped legal framework that governs surrogacy arrangements in the country. 

In 2023, India introduced a comprehensive surrogacy law that replaces the previous legislation. Under this new law, surrogacy is now legal in India but subject to certain conditions and regulations. The objective is to ensure the protection of the rights of the surrogate mother, the intended parents, and the child.

Eligibility Criteria: The new law sets out specific eligibility criteria for intended parents, including Indian citizenship, being married for at least five years, and being within the age range of 23 to 50 years for the female partner and 26 to 55 years for the male partner.

Altruistic Surrogacy: The law promotes altruistic surrogacy, wherein the surrogate mother cannot receive any monetary compensation beyond medical expenses and insurance coverage. This provision aims to prevent commercial exploitation of surrogates.

Close Relatives as Surrogates: The law permits close relatives of the intending couple to act as surrogates, provided they fulfill the necessary medical and eligibility requirements.

Legal Protection: The law emphasizes the need for a legally binding agreement between the intended parents and the surrogate mother, outlining the rights, responsibilities, and financial obligations of both parties.

National Surrogacy Board: A National Surrogacy Board will be established to oversee the surrogacy process, monitor its implementation, and address any disputes or concerns that may arise.

To ensure a smooth transition, the new surrogacy law provides a grace period during which existing surrogacy arrangements can be completed under the previous legislation. However, any new surrogacy arrangements must adhere to the provisions of the new law.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for Couples?

Surrogacy in India is governed by the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, which lays down certain eligibility criteria for couples seeking to avail themselves of surrogacy services. To understand whether surrogacy is legal in India and the conditions for eligibility, let's delve into the details.

Eligibility Criteria for Couples: Married Couples: The intending couple must be a legally married heterosexual couple. Same-sex couples, unmarried couples, and single individuals are not eligible to pursue surrogacy in India.

Duration of Marriage: The couple must have a minimum of five years of a stable marital relationship. This criterion ensures that couples have had sufficient time to explore other fertility treatments before considering surrogacy as an option.

Medical Condition: At least one member of the couple should have a medically proven infertility condition. The infertility should be certified by a registered medical practitioner as per the guidelines provided by the appropriate authority.

Age Criteria: The age of the intending couple should fall within the range specified by the surrogacy regulations. The female partner must be aged between 23 and 50 years, while the male partner should be aged between 26 and 55 years.

No Biological Child: The couple should not have any living biological child (whether through adoption or through a previous surrogacy arrangement), except in cases where the child is physically and mentally challenged or suffers from a life-threatening illness.

Certificate of Essentiality: Before proceeding with surrogacy, the couple must obtain a Certificate of Essentiality from the appropriate authority. This certificate confirms that surrogacy is necessary for the intending couple and is duly issued after evaluating their medical reports.

Certificate of Eligibility: Along with the Certificate of Essentiality, the couple must also obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, which ensures that they fulfill all the criteria specified by the surrogacy law.

It is important for couples to carefully review and fulfill these eligibility criteria to legally pursue surrogacy in India. Non-compliance with these conditions can lead to legal complications and may jeopardize the surrogacy process.

Steps for Legally Issuing Permission for Surrogacy

The Surrogacy Regulation Act recently passed by the Government of India introduces a three-step process for Intended Parents to obtain permission and certification. These steps involve the evaluation of eligibility criteria by a state board, verification of documents, and approval from both the District Board and the State Board. Here's a simplified and SEO-friendly version of the information:

Step 1: State Board Evaluation
Intended Parents need to seek permission for surrogacy by submitting an application to the state board. A panel of knowledgeable doctors will individually review the case to determine the eligibility of the intended parents. The following documents must be provided:

a) A lawyer's authority letter (vakalatnama)
b) Application and affidavits from the intended parents
c) Aadhaar cards of the intended parents
d) Medical history of the parents
e) Doctor's recommendation letter for surrogacy
f) Marriage certificate or passport
g) Passport-size photographs

Upon submission, a hearing date will be scheduled, and the intended parents, along with their counsel, must be present. The board will carefully assess the case and declare whether the couple is eligible for surrogacy. If eligible, a certificate will be issued for further proceedings.

Step 2: District Board Verification

The District Board, led by the first-class magistrate, oversees this court procedure. All the required documents, including those of the intended parents and the surrogate mother, must be presented for verification. This step ensures the authenticity of the surrogate mother. Once the application is submitted, a hearing date will be assigned. If the judge is satisfied, another certificate will be issued to the surrogate mother.

Step 3: State Board Final Approval

The file, along with the issued certificates, is then submitted to the state board for final approval. Upon receiving approval, the intended parents can proceed with the surrogacy process.

By following these steps, intended parents can navigate the surrogacy process in compliance with the Surrogacy Regulation Act.

Form to be filled for Legal Permission :

Surrogacy Rules in India

The surrogacy rules in India in 2023 have been revised to address concerns of exploitation and promote ethical practices. By limiting surrogacy to Indian citizens, ensuring the stability of intended parents, and regulating financial compensation, the rules aim to protect the rights and well-being of surrogate mothers and intended parents. The establishment of a national surrogacy board further strengthens the oversight of surrogacy arrangements, fostering a more secure and transparent process.

Is Surrogacy Ban in India

In recent years, India has implemented a ban on commercial surrogacy, making it illegal for intended parents to compensate surrogates for carrying their child. This decision aims to protect the rights and well-being of women, as well as prevent the exploitation and commodification of surrogacy.

Reasons Behind the Ban:

The primary reasons behind the surrogacy ban in India are twofold. Firstly, it aims to prevent the commercialization of surrogacy, which could lead to ethical concerns and potential exploitation of vulnerable women. Secondly, the ban aims to promote adoption as a preferred alternative for couples unable to conceive naturally.

Impact on Intended Parents:

With the ban in place, intended parents in India now face significant challenges in pursuing surrogacy. They are required to meet stringent eligibility criteria, including being married for at least five years, having infertility issues, and being unable to bear children. Furthermore, only close relatives can act as surrogates, removing the possibility of commercial arrangements.

Shift towards Altruistic Surrogacy:

The surrogacy ban has led to a surge in the practice of altruistic surrogacy, where close relatives volunteer to carry a child for the intended parents without any financial compensation. While this shift addresses concerns related to commercialization, it limits the options for intended parents who lack close relatives willing to act as surrogates.

Promotion of Adoption:

As an alternative to surrogacy, the Indian government has encouraged couples to consider adoption. The ban seeks to promote adoption as a compassionate and viable choice for individuals or couples who desire to become parents but are unable to conceive. This approach prioritizes the welfare of existing children in need of a loving home.

International Impact:

The surrogacy ban in India has affected individuals and couples from around the world who previously sought surrogacy services in the country. With the ban, many intended parents have had to explore alternative destinations, such as the United States or Ukraine, for their surrogacy needs.

Commercial surrogacy ban in India represents a significant shift in the assisted reproductive technology, aiming to protect women's rights and prevent the commercialization of surrogacy. While it poses challenges for intended parents, it also encourages the exploration of adoption as a compassionate alternative. Understanding the ban's implications is crucial for those considering surrogacy or seeking alternative paths to parenthood.

Which Type of Surrogacy is Legal in India?

In India, gestational surrogacy is legal. This type of surrogacy involves the use of a surrogate mother who carries and delivers a child for another individual or couple. The intended parents provide their own embryos, which are created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) using the eggs and sperm of the intended parents or donors. The mother who carried child (Surrogate) does not have a genetic connection to the child.

Gestational surrogacy allows individuals or couples who are unable to conceive or carry a child to have a biological child of their own. The legal framework for surrogacy in India includes certain regulations and guidelines to protect the rights and interests of all parties involved, including the surrogate mother, intended parents, and the child. These regulations aim to prevent exploitation and ensure that the surrogacy process is conducted in an ethical and transparent manner.

It's important to note that surrogacy laws can evolve and vary in different countries and jurisdictions, so it's advisable to consult with legal experts or authorities for the most up-to-date information on surrogacy regulations in a specific location.

Punishment for Commercial Surrogacy in India

Commercial surrogacy in India is punished with legal consequences. The Punishment for commercial surrogacy in India and fines. Those who engage in commercial surrogacy, where a woman is paid to carry a child for someone else, may face criminal charges. The Indian government has implemented strict regulations to curb the exploitation of women and protect the rights of surrogate mothers. In recent years, there has been a crackdown on illegal surrogacy clinics and brokers who profit from this practice. Surrogacy arrangements must now adhere to the guidelines set by the government, and any violations can result in legal action. It is crucial for individuals considering surrogacy in India to understand the risks and abide by the law to avoid facing the harsh consequences of engaging in commercial surrogacy.

The surrogacy laws in India have experienced significant changes in recent years, leading to a revamped legal framework that aims to ensure ethical practices and protect the rights of all parties involved. The new surrogacy law implemented in 2023 legalizes surrogacy but introduces stricter regulations to safeguard the interests of surrogate mothers, intended parents, and the child. By promoting altruistic surrogacy, establishing eligibility criteria, emphasizing legal protection through agreements, and creating a National Surrogacy Board for oversight, India strives to create a more ethical and transparent surrogacy framework. While the ban on commercial surrogacy poses challenges for intended parents, it also encourages the exploration of adoption as an alternative path to parenthood. It is crucial to understand and comply with the eligibility criteria and legal requirements to navigate the surrogacy process in India successfully.

Frequently Asked Questions (Surrogacy)

Q: Is Surrogacy Legal in India 2023?
Yes, surrogacy is legal in India, but there are specific regulations in place to ensure its ethical and responsible practice. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, enacted in 2020, regulates the surrogacy process to safeguard the rights and welfare of all parties involved, including the surrogate mother, the intending couple, and the child.

Q: What is surrogacy law Act in India?
Surrogacy law in India is to protect the interests of all stakeholders and ensure ethical practices. Implemented in 2023, the law emphasizes altruistic surrogacy, restricts commercial surrogacy, and sets eligibility criteria for intended parents. It requires a written contract and registration with authorities to establish a legally binding agreement. The law reflects India's commitment to regulate surrogacy and safeguard the well-being of all individuals involved.

Q: What are the new rules for surrogacy?
The new rules for surrogacy bring notable changes. Surrogacy now follows stricter guidelines to ensure the well-being of all parties involved. Active parental consent is required, and surrogates must meet specific health and age criteria. Legal agreements must be in place, outlining rights and responsibilities. Intensive screening processes and counseling sessions are mandatory for surrogates and intended parents. The updated regulations prioritize the protection and welfare of the child. These changes aim to create a more transparent and secure environment for surrogacy, fostering a positive experience for everyone involved.

Q: Is surrogacy legal in India for single?
Yes, surrogacy is legal in India for single individuals. The Indian government allows single individuals, regardless of their marital status, to pursue surrogacy arrangements within the country. Single individuals who meet the necessary criteria can engage in surrogacy to have a child. This legal provision has made India a popular destination for single people seeking surrogacy services. It provides an opportunity for individuals to fulfill their dream of parenthood through this reproductive option.

Q: What is the punishment for illegal surrogacy in India?
In India, the punishment for engaging in illegal surrogacy can be severe. Those involved can face imprisonment, fines, or both. The penalties are imposed to deter the exploitation of women and protect the rights of children. The Indian government has taken measures to regulate surrogacy and prevent commercialization. Active enforcement and strict legal actions are being undertaken to combat this issue. It is crucial to adhere to the established legal framework and obtain proper authorization to ensure a safe and ethical surrogacy process in India.

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About Author

Dr. Nisha Sharma

Studied at Red Roses Sr. Sec. School, D-Block, Arya Samaj Mandir; she has established herself into a renowned personality. She received her degrees (both BDS and MDS) in dentistry. She received her fellowship at the Pierre Fauchard Academy (FPFA). She has also received her certifications for full mouth rehabilitation and cosmetic dentistry. Currently, she practices her medicine of dentistry at Dr. Chopra Dental Clinic in Ramesh Nagar, Delhi.

Comments ( 1)

  • Mansi

    Thanks for the valuable information.

    2023-01-05 00:00:00

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