Want to Rent a Womb? Two Documents a must
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22 May 2010
By Kounteya Sinha
New Delhi, India
Foreigners or NRIs coming to India to rent a womb will soon have to submit two documents –one confirming that their country of residence recognizes surrogacy as legal and secondly, that it will give citizenship to the child born through agreement from an Indian mother.
According to the draft, Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill, 2010, submitted to the Union health ministry on Friday, foreign and NRI couples will have to get “certificates from either the embassy of their country in India or from the external affairs ministry of their country, certifying that they permit surrogacy and that the child born through agreement in India will be given citizenship by them.”
Prepared by a 12–member committee headed by Dr P M Bhargava under the aegis of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the draft Bill also includes a provision which says that a foreign couple will have to identify a local guardian in India to take care of the surrogate mother during her gestation period as well as after the delivery, till the child is handed over to the commissioning parents. However, the Bill says that if the foreign parents fail to take delivery of the child born to the surrogate mother within one month of the child’s birth, the surrogate mother and the local guardian will be legally obliged to hand over the child to an adoption agency.
“Only in such a case will the baby get Indian citizenship,” says the Bill. India is fast becoming a favourite with foreigners for surrogacy–related fertility tourism. But till now, there was no law that regulated assisted reproductive technology (ART) in the country.
Instances of babies born through surrogacy were becoming common, with India refusing them citizenship and few foreign countries not recognizing surrogacy as legal means of parenthood.