India may legalise commercial surrogacy

India has become a world centre for surrogate motherhood. Now the government proposes to legalise commercial surrogacy. The Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) [Regulation] Bill 2010  will allow unmarried women to act as surrogates for both couples and singles, including homosexuals. It is a radical measure in socially conservative India which could deliver big profits to the country’s aggressive IVF industry.

A Law Commission report had described the ART industry in 2009 as a “pot of gold”. “Wombs in India are on rent which translates into babies for foreigners and dollars for Indian surrogate mothers,” the report stated.

The commission recommended legalising only altruistic surrogacy arrangements and not commercial ones. But the draft Bill legalises commercial surrogacy as well.

A Mumbai clinic which specialises in services for gay couples, Rotunda, welcomed the news. “Renting a womb could soon become a completely legal and hassle-free experience, both for Indian as well as foreign couples looking for surrogate mothers in the country,” it said in a press release. ~ Hindustan Times, June 21

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