Surrogacy is a procedure through which a third party mother bears and gives
birth to the child of other parents. This can be due to multiple medical reasons
that prevent the mother from giving birth or bearing children.
According to the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill of 2019, surrogacy is defined
A practice whereby one woman bears and gives birth to a child for an intending
couple with the intention of handing over such child to the intending couple
after the birth.
The Surrogacy (regulation) bill, 2019 was put forth in order to provide for a
national framework, i.e. to constitute National Surrogacy Boards, State
surrogacy Boards and appointment of necessary authorities for the regulation of
the process and practice of surrogacy and matters related to it in India. Under
this Bill, Only Altruistic surrogacy is allowed, that is there can be no
commercial gain for the surrogate mother. Only the costs incidental to the
Surrogacy and pregnancy shall be covered by the intending parents.
Additionally, only married Indian couples are allowed to seek surrogacy, and
that too only under certain conditions such as proven Infertility. It goes
without saying, but is said in this bill that the Surrogacy shall be for the
purpose of giving a married couple a child, and not for the purposes of
The bill further lays down the essentials for the conduction of surrogacy.
The intending couple must also issue a Certificate of Eligibility, which
- The intended couple need to issue a certificate of Essentiality, as issued
by an appropriate authority.
The conditions for the issuing are:
- A certificate of prover infertility of either or both the members of the
intending couple from a District Medical Board.
- An order of parentage and custody of child passed by a magistrate's
court (first class or above)
- Insurance Coverage for the Surrogate Mother for a period of 16 Months
covering post-delivery complications too.
For a woman to be a surrogate mother, too, there are specific eligibility
criteria, which are as follows:
- The Couple to be Indian Citiznes, and married for atleast 5 years
- Between 23 and 50 years old females and between 26 and 55 year old
- They do not have a surviving child (biological, adopted or surrogate).
This, however, excludes a child who is mentally or physically challenged, or
suffers from a life threatening or fatal illness or disorder.
- Other conditions that may be specified by regulations.
- She should be a close relative of the Intending couple
- Be an ever-married woman with child of her own
- Shall be between 25 and 35 years old
- She has not been a surrogate mother previously (A woman can be a
surrogate only once under this bill)
- She shall possess a certificate of Medical and Psychological fitness for
In addition to the aforementioned, the bill also says that the surrogate mother
may not provide her own gametes for the surrogacy.
The bill also stated a few offences that protect the parties involved and also
the morality and ethics of surrogacy. They are:
- Undertaking or advertising commercial surrogacy,
- Exploiting the surrogate mother,
- Abandoning, disowning or exploitation of surrogate child,
- Selling or importing human embryo or gametes for surrogacy.
A minimum penalty of 5 years of imprisonment and a fine upto Rs. 10 Lakh is
prescribed for these offences.