Parliamentary Panel releases report on Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016

The Parliamentary Panel released a report critiquing the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016. While the report suggested that surrogacy in India must be regulated, referring to the socio-economic differences and power differential between the surrogates and the intending parents, it criticized the Bill on many counts. The bill limits the availability of surrogacy services to couples who had been married for more than five years within a certain age group, and allowed only ‘altruistic’ or uncompensated surrogacy by close family member, which the report notes can lead to oppression of vulnerable female relatives in the context of unequal gender relations within the family. According to the Parliamentary Panel Report, the option to avail of the services of a surrogate must not be limited to married couples or to close family members. Further, a national database of surrogacy cases is to be maintained and tracked in order to ensure compliance with regulations on surrogacy.