Now Reading
India moves forward with Bill to ban gay couples from hiring surrogates

India moves forward with Bill to ban gay couples from hiring surrogates

India moves forward with Surrogacy Bill 2016

On 24 August India’s Government moved ahead with Surrogacy Bill 2016 that bars gay couples, foreigners, single people, live-in partners, overseas Indians and married couples who already have children from hiring surrogates.

If Bill gets approved by parliament in the next session it would mean that only infertile couples who have been married for more than five years would be able to qualify for surrogacy.

The Bill would only allow a married blood relative of the couple who has had children herself to be a surrogate, and only once in her life.

If the Bill becomes law, those who break it could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of Rs 10 Lakh ($14,900, €13,300).

Commercial surrogacy is popular in India with over 2,000 surrogacy clinics spread across the country. The woman’s health group Sama also says the commercial surrogacy industry brings in over $400 million each year.

When asked if this law discriminates against homosexuals in an interview with Deccan Chronicle, the director-general of the Indian Council of Medial Research, Soumya Swaminathan said: ‘No, this is a side issue. There is a very small proportion of people needing surrogacy. Gay people have an option of adoption. So it’s not that all the doors are closed for them.’

Once cleared by parliament, the ban will come into effect 10 months later to allow surrogates who are already pregnant enough time to give birth.