A method through the process by which a woman consents to
carry a pregnancy for some other persons in a case where pregnancy is
impossible to be carried on medically is what is termed as surrogacy. A woman
who carries a child for some other person is known as a surrogate mother. Generally
the reason for opting a surrogate mother is when the other person is unable to
conceive, when the woman is missing the uterus either from her birth itself or
have been removed through some surgery, when a woman has suffered miscarriages
several times which makes her womb weak to carry a baby, or who have failed
repeated IVF attempts.
In a narrow sense a surrogate mother basically lends her
uterus to another couple in the cases where they are unable to have a baby due
to medical problems leading to various pregnancy risks, but in a broad sense it
is method which has proved to be boon o the various couples because through the
process of surrogacy a couple unable to have a baby then has a hope of having
their child and not ending up being a childless couple. In this process a surrogate is artificially
inseminated with the male partner’s sperm and thus where a woman is infertile
she has no genetic relationship with the baby, known as the traditional
Selecting the surrogate is totally in the hands of the
couple as it is completely going to be related to their child and hence keeping
in mind every aspect including what would affect their child’s health, the
decision-making power is in their hands. Thus, essential criteria fit for being
a surrogate mother includes-
LIFESTYLE OF THE WOMAN – Healthy lifestyle of
the woman who would be carrying the baby of the couple is one of the main
criteria of her being a surrogate. The main concern of the intended parents is
to keep a check whether the surrogate is taking care of her pregnancy in the
way the parents would have taken if they were carrying the child on their own.
Along with healthy lifestyle she should live a stable and a regular lifestyle
in order to become fit for being a surrogate mother which includes not taking
of any kind of drugs without the guidance of the doctor for maintaining the
regular well being of the child.
AGE OF THE WOMAN- For being a surrogate a woman
needs to be at least 21 years old and acceptance of the surrogate mother is
till 38 years of age.
HAS GIVEN BIRTH TO THE CHID- The reason for including
this is that once a woman gives birth to the child it shows that she is able to
become pregnant and establishes fertility.
FINANCIAL STABILITY- The surrogate mother being financially stable
is one of the important aspect and not taking any kind of assistance from the
government. The reason is that, it makes the intention of the surrogate mother
clear that the sole purpose of carrying the baby is not earning money or
receiving the funds from the couple.
BENEFITS OF A SURROGATE MOTHER
After qualifying the various parameters through which a
woman is deemed fit to be accepted as the surrogate mother she is at the stake
of enjoying the several benefits of being a surrogate mother which includes-
SELF SATISFACTION- As the broader meaning of
surrogacy includes helping the childless couple or the person incapable of
conceiving, to have a baby through the process of surrogacy. Being at the
position of helping someone in need, specifically to a woman who is infertile
which can be devastating for many couples, can be source of self-motivation for
a surrogate mother.
EMOTIONAL RELATIONSHIP-The process of sharing
pregnancy with the intended parents builds up the emotional relationship
between them and the surrogate mother. This helps the surrogate to receive a
sense of gratitude from the intended parents as well for the services she has
rendered and from the emotional point of view the debt not in the form of
monetary terms but the gratitude which they hold towards the surrogate.
HEALTH CARE-Proper health care before and
immediately after the pregnancy is provided not at the surrogate’s expenses but
on the expenses of the couple.
MONETARY COMPENSATION- Being a surrogate she
gets the compensation which surpasses the value of compensation she receives on
the account of health care. Financial compensation received varies from case to
TYPES OF SURROGACY
On the basis of genetic linkage
surrogacy can be classified as Natural Surrogacy or Gestational surrogacy. In the former type of surrogacy, the
surrogate is related to the baby genetically, where the surrogate is
inseminated with sperm from the male partner’s of an infertile couple. Thus, the
child is genetically related to the male partner but not to the female partner.
In latter form of surrogacy, the surrogate mother is not related to the child
genetically, rather the pregnancy is carried on by the egg and sperm of genetic
On commercial aspect
ALTRUISTIC SURROGACY- Form of surrogacy where the surrogate receives
no reward in monetary terms for pregnancy. Usually the woman is paid all the
expenses related to the pregnancy by the intended parents including all the
medical facilities, expenses of the delivery of the baby and the other
COMMERCIAL SURROGACY- It is the form of
surrogacy in which the surrogate mother is paid by the intended parents to
carry their child in her womb. This form of surrogacy is legal in various
countries and has gained popularity.
ANALYSIS OF SURROGACY REGULATION
The bill passed by the Health
Ministry, cleared by the Union Cabinet is set to be introduced in the
Commercial surrogacy in India was
legalized in year 2002 which gave rise to foreign surrogacy requirements, also
fertility tourism which led to the ban of commercial surrogacy in 2015. After
the case of Baby Manji Yamada vs Union of India the question of foreign
surrogacy became relevant. In this case a certain doctor arranged for the
Japanese couple to have a surrogate baby by some lady. This lady was
impregnated using a mix of male partner’s sperm and an anonymous Indian woman’s
egg. Few months later the couple filed for divorce and whose child the baby
was, it was still in question. Further the petition against the doctor was
filed in the court by accusing him for running a child trafficking racket and
thus abusing the surrogacy laws. Later the case was solved and the baby has
handed over to her grandmother. Easy
abandonment of children , exploitation of woman by forcing them to become
surrogates in order to support their family financially led to the necessity of
IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THE BILL
The first and the foremost important feature was
that surrogacy was not permitted for many persons of the society including
homosexual couples, single parents, couples in live-in relationships,
foreigners, couples with children, attempts at commercial surrogacy.
The other feature included in the bill is that
the couple must be married for 5 years.
The crux factor for opting surrogacy is that
either one of couple must have proven to be infertile.
They should be Indian Citizens only, NRI’S are
not even included.
Females should be between the age of 23-50 years
and males should be between 26-55 years of age.
Married couple can have one surrogate child only
and not more than that, also woman can be surrogate only once.
Egg donation is banned
Necessity of surrogate mother only being a
Though the bill was passed with the intention
to prevent woman from exploitation but various limitations imposed by it has restricted
the purpose of the bill. Adopting a child is one of the option but some societies
have a narrow thinking of child being only a true heir which is not possible
through the way of adoption. At times it is really a difficult task to find a
relative for being a potential surrogate and thus the feature in the bill of
surrogate being the relative only, creates hurdles for the couple. Putting
limitations on a woman’s surrogacy choice to only one time in a large way puts
the limitations on the income of those who have their survival on this and thus
here a question arises on the limitation of relative of the couple being the