Surrogacy: FAQs and Answers
What You Need to Know About Surrogacy: FAQs and Answers
Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another person or couple who cannot conceive or carry a child themselves. In surrogacy, the woman who carries the child is called a surrogate, and the intended parent or parents are the biological or intended parents of the child. However, surrogacy is a complex and emotionally charged process that raises numerous legal, ethical, and social issues. As a result, many people have questions and concerns about surrogacy, ranging from the types of surrogacy arrangements available to the legal requirements and medical considerations involved. In this FAQ, we’ll explore some of the most commonly asked questions about surrogacy, providing you with valuable information and insights to help you better understand this unique and often life-changing journey.
Frequently Asked Concerns About the New Surrogacy Law – 2021
What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a process whereby a woman carries a pregnancy for another individual or couple. The intended parents or a donor provide the egg and sperm, which are then fertilized through IVF, and the resulting embryo is implanted into the surrogate’s uterus.
Is surrogacy legal?
The legality of surrogacy is subject to specific regulations outlined in India’s new Surrogacy (Regulation) Act of 2021. The Indian government introduced this act to address the legal, ethical, and social issues related to surrogacy.
What is altruistic surrogacy?
Altruistic surrogacy is a type of surrogacy in which the surrogate mother voluntarily agrees to carry a baby for someone else without receiving any monetary compensation. In this type of surrogacy, the surrogate mother may receive reimbursement for medical expenses and other related costs, but not for the act of carrying the baby.
What is commercial surrogacy?
Commercial surrogacy is a process where a woman is paid a fee to carry and deliver a child for an individual or couple who cannot conceive naturally.
Why is commercial surrogacy banned in India?
Commercial surrogacy is banned in India to prevent the exploitation of women, especially those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, who may be coerced or forced into surrogacy for monetary gain. Additionally, commercial surrogacy has raised concerns about the ethical implications of treating human reproduction as a commodity. The Indian government enacted the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act in 2021 to prohibit commercial surrogacy and promote altruistic surrogacy as a means to protect the interests of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy.
What are the legal requirements for altruistic surrogacy in India?
Proof of marriage, certificates of age and essentiality, a District Board medical indication, a District Court medical indication, and insurance or certificates of the surrogate’s psychological and medical fitness are required for altruistic surrogacy in India. The intending parents must be Indian citizens and married for five years.
In India, what are the consequences of breaking the law on surrogacy?
Those who violate surrogacy law in India can be subject to a penalty of Rs 10 lac and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.
What is the definition of gestational surrogacy under the act?
Gestational Surrogacy means a practice whereby a surrogate mother carries a child for the intending couple through the implantation of an embryo in her womb, and the child is not genetically related to the surrogate mother.
Who can apply for gestational surrogacy as per the new law of Surrogacy in India?
An intending couple who are married and between the age of 23 to 50 years (in case of female) and between 26 to 55 years (in case of male) on the day of certification, or an intending woman who is an Indian widow or divorcee between the age of 35 to 45 years and who intends to avail surrogacy.
Can an intending couple who has a biological or adopted child apply for gestational surrogacy?
No, an intending couple/woman must not have had any surviving child biologically or through adoption or through surrogacy earlier, except for cases where the child is mentally or physically challenged or suffers from a life-threatening disorder or fatal illness with no permanent cure and approved by the appropriate authority with a due medical certificate from Specific Medical board as prescribed in the act.
What are the medical indications necessitating gestational surrogacy?
A woman may opt for surrogacy if she has no uterus, a missing or abnormal uterus, repeated failures to conceive after multiple IVF or ICSI attempts, multiple pregnancy losses resulting from an unexplained medical reason, and any illness that makes it impossible for a woman to carry a pregnancy to viability or pregnancy that is life-threatening.
Is it possible for intended parents to use donated embryos for surrogacy?
No, it is not allowed under the surrogacy regulations in India. Intended parents are required to contribute their own biological material (eggs or sperm) for surrogacy.
What certificate should an intending couple obtain under the act?
To meet the necessary requirements, individuals must provide evidence of their marriage, age, and essentiality certificates, a medical indication certificate obtained from the District Board, an eligibility certificate from the Board, a medical indication from the District Court, and insurance or certificates showing the surrogate’s psychological and medical fitness.
What is the process of approval for surrogacy in India as per the new law of Surrogacy?
After obtaining the required documents and court orders, the surrogacy approval process in India involves submitting a request to the relevant authority for permission to proceed with the surrogacy. Additionally, the surrogate’s medical condition must be assessed, and any necessary adjustments to the surrogacy regulations must be made to ensure the safety and well-being of all parties involved.
Common Question Asked for Surrogate Mother
What is the age requirement for a woman to be a surrogate mother under the new surrogacy law in India?
As per the new surrogacy law in India, a woman must be between the ages of 25 to 35 years on the day of implantation to be a surrogate mother. Additionally, she must be ever married and have a child of her own.
Can a woman donate her own gametes and act as a surrogate mother at the same time under the act?
No, the new surrogacy law in India prohibits a woman from acting as a surrogate mother by providing her own gametes. She can only act as a surrogate mother for another person’s embryo.
Can a woman act as a surrogate mother more than once in her lifetime?
No, under the new surrogacy law in India, a woman can act as a surrogate mother only once in her lifetime. However, the number of attempts for surrogacy procedures on the surrogate mother shall be such as may be prescribed.
What is required for a woman to undergo surrogacy procedures as a surrogate mother under the act?
For a woman to undergo surrogacy procedures as a surrogate mother under the new surrogacy law in India, she must be between 25 to 35 years old, ever married, and have a child of her own. Additionally, she must provide a certificate of medical and psychological fitness for surrogacy and surrogacy procedures from a registered medical practitioner. She must also provide written informed consent to undergo such procedures in a language she understands.
Is abortion allowed during the surrogacy process?
No, the new surrogacy law in India prohibits any person, organization, surrogacy clinic, laboratory, or clinical establishment from forcing the surrogate mother to abort at any stage of surrogacy except in such conditions as may be prescribed.
How is the surrogate compensated?
According to the new surrogacy law in India, parents must personally bring a willing woman to act as a surrogate mother. No monetary exchange or compensation is allowed, but the parents can cover expenses such as travel, clothing, medicines, tests, and check-ups.
Can a surrogate mother withdraw her consent for surrogacy?
Yes, the surrogate mother shall have the option to withdraw her consent for surrogacy before the implantation of a human embryo in her womb.
What is the insurance coverage required for the surrogate mother?
Insurance coverage of such amount and in such a manner as may be prescribed in favor of the surrogate mother for a period of thirty-six months covering postpartum delivery complications from an insurance company or an agent recognized by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority established under the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999.
What certificate should a surrogate mother obtain under the act?
A certificate of medical and psychological fitness for surrogacy and surrogacy procedures from a registered medical practitioner.
Is it mandatory for the surrogacy center to be registered under the act to avail of surrogacy services?
Yes, to avail of surrogacy procedures/services in the jurisdiction of GNCTD, it is mandatory that the surrogacy center should be registered under the act.