India Imposing Ban and Criminalizing Surrogacy

Written by Lauri on October 28, 2019

In 2002, India legalized surrogacy to promote medical tourism. Today, India is on the verge of banning and criminalizing surrogacy, a move that will effectively make the United States the only option for those looking to hire a surrogate.

India’s stringent bill will ban all forms of surrogacy with the two exceptions for women who agree to carry babies for “altruistic” reasons, meaning no payment or those who carry the baby for a “close relative”. Violators face up to 10 years imprisonment and fines of up to $14,066.

Additionally, it only allows Indian couples, married for at least five years and childless, to opt for surrogacy. The bill will not allow singles or couples from the LGBTQ community to have a child through surrogacy.

India will no longer be a medial destination 

India became a major destination for hiring a surrogate because of affordable rates by hospitals and gestational carriers. An estimated 2,000 foreign babies were born to Indian surrogates each year since it was legalized in 2002, according to the 2014 book Patients With Passports: Medical Tourism, Ethics, and Law by Harvard law professor I. Glenn Cohen. Another study by Sama, a resource group for women and health in India, states that about 3,000 clinics offered surrogacy services.

According to Flavia Agnes, a women’s rights lawyer and activist, a woman should have the right to decide whether she wants to bear the child for herself or someone else: “Surrogacy isn’t just a moral issue, it is linked with livelihoods. Many candidates are able to better their lives through such arrangements. This is done in consultation with spouses and families; so what’s the problem?”  Agnes argues that the industry should not be dismissed as inherently exploitative and surrogate women as “damsels in distress.”

Surrogacy laws in the United States vary by state and every state has different laws. For information please contact us and we will walk through the process, click here to send us an email