Centre plan: Surrogacy for all; Women’s wing wants the term ‘couple’ redefined

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New Delhi: The Union women and child development ministry has proposed that the health ministry allow surrogacy to everyone, including unmarried couples and those in live-in relationships.
In its comments on the proposed Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2013, the ministry has opined that the health ministry’s definition of ‘couple’ is narrow. The WCD wants the definition of “couple to include everyone who wants to avail ARTs and surrogacy, irrespective of marriage”.
Contrary to the health ministry’s draft Bill — that says that no woman shall act as surrogate for more than three successful births including their own children — the women and child development ministry has proposed to extend the same provision to four births (live and still births), including her own children with not less than a two-year interval between two deliveries.
The WCD is also of the view that women above 21 years of age with conditions like height below 140 cm, women with low Body Mass Index (BMI) and with high-risk conditions like cardio-vascular diseases, thyroid problems should be excluded.
Next: WCD ministry suggests cash aid for surrogates

WCD ministry suggests cash aid for surrogates
DC Correspondent
New Delhi: Considering the health risks that a surrogate entails, the women and child development ministry said that the proposed Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2013 should “incorporate provisions of compensation to the surrogate and her family in cases of any health complications or death.”
Also, the ministry said that there should be some provision in case the child born with any deficiency needs to be with the surrogate mother till it is handed over to the surrogate parents.
The ministry has proposed that the minimum compensation to the surrogate should be paid once an embryo has been transferred in her, irrespective of whether she is able to deliver the child or not or has to terminate her pregnancy due to medical complications.
The ministry has also asked the health ministry to specify the maximum number of cycles a woman can undergo for the process. As per the ministry, the draft Bill should also contain provisions for the regulations of other players like medical tourism agencies, surrogacy agencies, surrogacy homes and hostels, surrogacy law firms etc.
The ministry has also suggested the donors with two live children should not be allowed for ART procedure. While the health ministry is eager to approach the Cabinet, it has given a new deadline to the ministries for sending their comments after the other ministries failed to send their comments by August 5.
The health ministry has so far got comments only from the DGHS, the other key ministries like ministry of external affairs , Home ministry and Planning Commission are yet to send their comments.
Health ministry officials say that they will wait till September 10. “We are open to suggestions. However, if we do not get comments till September 10, we will presume that the other ministries don’t have any suggestions. We will take a view and will send the cabinet note to the law ministry for vetting,” said an official.

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