Surrogacy in India
is legal, and regulated to protect the rights
of the child, surrogate, and genetic parents.
Protecting the Parents, Child and Surrogate
India is the surrogacy capital of the world, as surrogacy in India is simpler and more cost effective than any other country. Surrogacy in India is legal and regulated to protect the rights of the child, surrogate, and intended parents.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) estimates that commercial surrogacy grew to about $2.3 billion per year in 2012. Infertile couples from worldwide are flocking to India many due to the fact that surrogacy costs in India can be up to five times lower than in countries such as the US. The process is also easier as India regulation acknowledges the rights of both the surrogate and the intended parents.
In 2008, a now-famous court case involving Baby Manji, a child born to an Indian surrogate for a California-based Japanese couple. Bay Manji became the focus of a legal and diplomatic crisis soon after her birth. (The baby’s genetic parents had divorced months before her birth, with the genetic mother refusing the child and the father and grandmother asking to raise the child.) As a result of that case, the Supreme Court of India held that commercial surrogacy was legal in India, but also raised the importance of developing comprehensive regulation.
The Supreme Court decision to permit commercial surrogacy in India resulted in a significant increase in international confidence in surrogacy in India. However, in 2008 there were still reports of the surrogate mother being exploited by the commissioning parents, which gave rise to a set of agreed guidelines by the Indian medical community relating to the management of surrogacy procedures to protect the rights of parents, surrogates and children.
Today commercial surrogacy is still unregulated with no official legislation controlling surrogacy. In the absence of government regulation, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has set ‘national guidelines’ to regulate surrogacy. In short, the guidelines help regulate Assisted Reproductive Technology procedures.
To view the ICMR guidelines, click here.
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SURROGACY LAWS IN INDIA
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