Womb for rent: India to ban foreigners having kids through surrogacy

New Delhi: A blanket ban may be imposed soon on NRIs, PIOs and foreigners having children through surrogacy in India with the Health Ministry and National Commission for Women today proposing it as part of a new legislation.

The Health Ministry, which had drafted a bill to deal with issues relating to surrogacy, has also agreed to suggestions by NCW to make legal provisions to allow single women including divorcees and widows to become surrogate mothers, besides setting up of a regulatory body.

At a national consultation on the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, the NCW and Health Ministry were in agreement that there should be a blanket ban on NRIs, PIOs (Persons of Indian Origins) and foreign nationals to have children through surrogacy in India.

NCW Chairperson Lalita Kumaramangalam said Health Ministry has decided to finalise the bill on surrogacy-related issues by November 15.

The consultation was attended by officials from Home Ministry, Women and Child Development Ministry, National Human Rights Commission and representatives of various states besides NCW and Health Ministry. The bill was first drafted in 2010 which was revised in 2013.

The Health Ministry has now sought public opinion on the bill before it could be finalised.

Kumarmangalam also said the Home Affairs has conveyed that it will make changes in the bill to make provisions on not to allow NRIs, PIOs, overseas Indians along with foreign nationals to have children though surrogacy.

“The bill that stands today says only ‘Indians’ will be allowed and not ‘of Indian origin’. The Ministry of Home Affairs has clarified that they will make changes in the bill and there is going to be a blanket ban on all foreign nationals and NRIs, Overseas Citizens of India or Persons of India Origin,” Kumarmangalam said.