Union Health Ministry has now finalized
the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) regulation Bill, according to
which a woman acting as surrogate mother in India should be between 21-35 years
of age and including her own children she cannot give more than 5 live births. This
Bill has been sent to the law ministry for its approval.
Other clauses included in the Bill are- no surrogate mother shall undergo embryo transfer for the same couple for more than three times. If the woman posing as a surrogate mother is married, the consent of her spouse is mandatory. Only Indian citizens can be considered for surrogacy. No Indian citizen should be sent abroad by an ART bank or clinic for the purpose of surrogacy abroad. Strict confidentiality about the donor's identity has to be maintained. Any act that could harm the fetus during pregnancy or after birth should not be done by the would-be surrogate mother. As parents, the birth certificate of the baby will bear the names of the individual who had commissioned the surrogacy and these commissioning parents will have to accept the child's custody irrespective of any congenital abnormality.
The Bill made another important point that during one cycle of the treatment no woman can be treated with gametes or embryos derived from the gametes of more than one man or woman. Lesbians and gays cannot opt for IVF treatments as these relations are not legal in India. While live-in couples can go in for IVF only if the woman cannot bear a child due to biological reasons or it is medically risky for her to bear a child.