The Parliament’s approval to the Surrogacy Bill will end the “rent-a-womb” method in India. Already, most clinics have stopped accepting single or gay individuals as clients.
The Surrogacy Bill of 2016 not only bans commercial surrogacy but also homosexual couples, people in live-in relationships and single individuals from having a child through the “rent-a-womb” method.
According to the new draft law, only childless Indian heterosexual couples, married for a minimum five years and with proven medical problems are eligible for surrogacy, says a Times of India report.
TOI cited IVF expert Dr Jatin Shah, who delivered Karan Johar’s twins Roohi and Yash, saying that they won’t able to do it (surrogacy for indivduals) once the bill becomes an act.
Shah further said that Johar, like most of his other clients, did not need more than one counselling session to make the decision.
Shah, who had also facilitated the birth of Shah Rukh Khan’s son AbRam, refused to disclose any dates about when the surrogacy was commissioned. However, it can be estimated that it would have been somewhere in June or July last year, perhaps just before the Cabinet had passed the bill on August 24.
“If tomorrow somebody, who is unmarried or is in a same-sex relationship, gets inspired by Johar, they should be prepared to face rejection in 99% of clinics. Most of us have stopped doing surrogacy work in grey areas due to regulations,” a senior IVF specialist from Mumbai was quoted by Times of India as saying.
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Head of the Indian Council of Mediclal Research (ICMR) said that it once again brought out the reality about surrogacy in India.
“Rich can afford surrogacy and the surrogate mother is always someone poor. While Johar happily accepted his twins, there have been cases where the commissioning parents have abandoned one of the babies,” she said.
Swaminathan further insisted that the law is an absolute must to safeguard the interest of such babies and surrogate mothers.