President Ram Nath Kovind gives assent to Surrogacy Act, 2021; commercial surrogacy outlawed

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The Act defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to a child for an intending couple with the intention of handing over the child to the couple after its birth

President Ram Nath Kovind gives assent to Surrogacy Act, 2021; commercial surrogacy outlawed

File image of President Ram Nath Kovind. Reuters

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021. The Presidential assent, which came on Saturday, was published in the government gazette immediately.

The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 17 after the Rajya Sabha passed it on December 8. According to the PRS research website, the Act defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to a child for an intending couple with the intention of handing over the child to the couple after its birth.

However, the Bill prohibits commercial surrogacy and allows only altruistic surrogacy which involves no monetary compensation to the surrogate mother other than the medical expenses and insurance coverage during pregnancy. Commercial surrogacy, on the other hand, includes surrogacy, or its related procedures, undertaken for a monetary benefit or reward (in cash or kind) exceeding the basic medical expenses and insurance coverage.

Surrogacy is permitted when it is: (i) for intending couples who suffer from proven infertility; (ii) altruistic; (iii) not for commercial purposes; (iv) not for producing children for sale, prostitution, or other forms of exploitation; and (v) for any condition or disease specified through regulations.

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