The Delhi High Court issued a notice to the Union government on a petition challenging some provisions of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act and the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act.
Issues raised by the petition
- Currently, the laws does not allow single men to have child through surrogacy.
- Married women can only avail surrogacy services if they are unable to produce a child due to medical conditions.
- Otherwise, for women to avail of surrogacy services, they must be aged between 35 and 45 and widowed or divorced.
Basis of the Petition
- The personal decision of a single person about the birth of a baby through surrogacy, i.e., the right of reproductive autonomy is a facet of the right to privacy guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
- Thus, the right to privacy of every citizen or person affecting a decision to bear or beget a child through surrogacy cannot be taken away.
Distinct features of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021
- Definition of surrogacy: It defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to a child for an intending couple with the intention to hand over the child after the birth to the intending couple.
- Regulation of surrogacy: It prohibits commercial surrogacy, but allows altruistic surrogacy which involves no monetary compensation to the surrogate mother other than the medical expenses and insurance.
- Purposes for which surrogacy is permitted: Surrogacy is permitted when it is: (i) for intending couples who suffer from proven infertility; (ii) altruistic; (iii) not for commercial purposes; (iv) not for producing children for sale, prostitution or other forms of exploitation; and (v) for any condition or disease specified through regulations.
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