Foreigners, single parents and gay couples are to be banned from using Indian women as surrogates under proposals intended to protect the poor from exploitation. Only infertile couples who have been married for at least five years could seek a surrogate, who must be a close relative, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday. “There will be a complete ban on commercial surrogacy,” Ms Swaraj said. The proposed bill, which does not say which relatives are close enough to be considered as potential surrogates, will be put before parliament shortly.
Childless couples, who are medically unfit to have children, can take help from a close relative, in what is an altruistic surrogacy
Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj
Over the past few years, India has become a popular destination for people wanting to have children using surrogate mothers, partly because its doctors and clinics broker the service at relatively low cost. But many of the women are paid a pittance of the money that is paid to clinics by anxious couples yearning to have a child. Ms Swaraj cited past cases where a couple took home one child from a twin birth or a couple left a disabled baby with the surrogate. “The law would stop such unethical practices,” she added.