New Delhi, Aug 19 IANS | 4 months ago

There is an urgent need for a rights-based legal framework to regularise surrogacy in India, a study report said here Tuesday.

The report released by the Centre for Social Research (CSR) said that though surrogacy is rapidly gaining ground in India, there are no legal provisions to safeguard the interests of the stakeholders like the surrogate mother, child and the commissioning parents.

"There are several issues besides sex selection and exploitation of the poor surrogate mothers. Many foreign countries do not allow surrogacy, in such a case what would the nationality of the child be when the intended parents are from that country? About 48 percent couples opting for surrogacy are foreigners," Ranjana Kumari, CSR director, said in a statement.

"Though the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Regulation Bill, 2010, did bring forth certain important points for the legal framework to be based on, it has left out many crucial issues relating to surrogacy arrangements," she added.

According to the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), nearly 2,000 babies are born every year in India through commercial surrogacy.

The study report also states that there are no rules governing the amount of compensation for the surrogate mother and the amount is arbitrarily decided by the clinics.

"Often the woman who delivers the baby is paid very little for it. Though the couple who wants to have a baby through surrogate mothers pays anything between Rs.2 lakh to Rs.5 lakh to agents, the woman who delivers the baby gets only Rs.75,000 to Rs.1 lakh," states the report.

Ranjana Kumari also said that there have been cases when many countries refused to give citizenship to children who were born through surrogate mothers in India.

"We need to have a proper legal framework to decide on the rights of the child, surrogate mother and the couple who becomes the custodian of the new born,"she added.

(Posted on 19-08-2014)

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