In surrogacy, a women carries someone else’s child throughout the period of 9 months till birth and hand over the child to the couple after the birth. Surrogate mother is the substitute for the genetic biological mother. There are three types of surrogacy:
- Traditional surrogacy
In traditional surrogacy, the child is genetically related to both the surrogate mother, who provides the egg, and the father or the donor.
- Gestational surrogacy
In gestational surrogacy the child is genetically related to the women who donated the egg and the father or the sperm donor but not the surrogate.
- Commercial surrogacy
Commercial surrogacy is a form of surrogacy in which a gestational carrier is paid to carry a child to maturity in her womb and is mostly resorted to by the higher income infertile couples who can afford the cost involved or people who save and borrow in order to complete their dreams of being parents.
India legalized commercial surrogacy in 2002, the growth of surrogacy in India led to an impeccable growth of several commercial firms and firms claiming speciality in surrogacy law and guiding and assisting foreign tourists who came in search of having an Indian mother rent her womb for the child. Such arrangements can be considered to be exploitative in nature as they are not only encourage baby selling but also dimish the dignity of women’s reproductive capacities and the inherent value of the children by modifying them. This paved way for the globe and help them find a surrogate Indian mother, assisting the foreigners in paper work related to surrogacy and assisting the child in acquiring a passport and a visa to depart from the country.
The 228th report of Law Commission of India has recommended for prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing ethical altruistic surrogacy by enacting suitable legislation. One of the prime reasons for surrogacy services to bombard in India is poverty, which makes poor Indian women rent her women for money or other essential commodities.
In 2005, the Indian Council Medical Research (ICMR) issued guidelines to regulate surrogacy arrangements. The guidelines stated that the surrogate mother would be entitled to monetary compensation, the value of which would be decided by the couple and the surrogate mother. The guidelines also specified that the surrogate mother cannot donate her own egg for the surrogacy and that she must relinquish all parental rights to the surrogate child.
In the case of Baby Manji v union of India, In 2008, a baby (Manji Yamada) born through surrogacy was unable to leave India for three months after her birth because she held neither Indian nor Japanese nationality. The case came before the Supreme Court of India. The issue was resolved after the Japanese government issued a one-year visa to her on humanitarian grounds. The Japanese government issued the visa after the Indian government granted the baby a travel certificate in September 2008 in line with a Supreme Court direction.
Eligibility certificate of Surrogate mother by Appropriate Authority
- Ever married woman own child (25-35 age)
- Close relative
- One surrogate birth in her lifetime
- Medical and psychological Fitness certificate of intending surrogate mother
Eligibility of intending couple Appropriate Authority
- Age women 23-50 man 26-55
- 5 years of marriage
- Indian citizen
- No child before by any way
This fact can not be ignored that women who opt for being surrogate mothers are from economically vulnerable background and for them, surrogacy is a source of livelihood. A complete ban on commercial surrogacy deprives them of their livelihood and rather, expects them to undergo reproductive labour without any compensation.