On December 25, 2021, the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021 received President’s assent in order to regulate the practice and process of surrogacy, constitute National Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Board, State Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Boards.
Key features of the Act:
I. Prohibition and regulation of surrogacy clinics:
- No surrogacy clinic, unless registered under this Act, shall conduct or associate with, or help in any manner, in conducting activities relating to surrogacy and surrogacy procedures; or employ or cause to be employed or take services of any person, whether on honorary basis or on payment, who does not possess such qualifications as may be prescribed.
- No surrogacy clinic, paediatrician, gynaecologist, embryologist, registered medical practitioner or any person shall conduct, offer, undertake, promote or associate with or avail of commercial surrogacy in any form; or store a human embryo or gamete for the purpose of surrogacy except storage for other legal purposes like sperm banks, IVF and medical research; or conduct or cause to be conducted sex selection for surrogacy.
II. Regulation of surrogacy and surrogacy procedures: No surrogacy or surrogacy procedures shall be conducted, undertaken, performed or availed of, except for the following purpose:
- when an intending couple has a medical indication necessitating gestational surrogacy provided that a couple of Indian origin or an intending woman who intends to avail surrogacy, shall obtain a certificate of recommendation from the Board on an application made by the said persons in such form and manner as may be prescribed.
Note: “gestational surrogacy” means a practice whereby a surrogate mother carries a child for the intending couple through implantation of embryo in her womb and the child is not genetically related to the surrogate mother;
- when it is only for altruistic surrogacy purposes;
- when it is not for commercial purposes or for commercialisation of surrogacy or surrogacy procedures;
- when it is not for producing children for sale, prostitution or any other form of exploitation.
III. Written informed consent of surrogate mother: All known side effects and after effects of such procedures shall be informed to the surrogate mother concerned and also a written informed consent of the surrogate mother to undergo such procedures in the language she understands is required to obtain.
IV. Registration of surrogacy clinics: No person shall establish any surrogacy clinic for undertaking surrogacy or to render surrogacy procedures in any form unless such clinic is duly registered under this Act. Every surrogacy clinic which is conducting surrogacy or surrogacy procedures, partly or exclusively, shall, within a period of sixty days from the date of appointment of appropriate authority, apply for registration.
V. Establishment of National Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Registry: There shall be established a Registry to be called the National Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Registry for the purposes of registration of surrogacy clinics under this Act.