India has become a major destination for foreign couples to hire surrogates to bear their children. This has been made possible by the legalization of commercial surrogacy India in 2002. It has also been facilitated by the lack of stringent laws on surrogacy India and its low cost in the country.
While surrogacy in the US may cost around $50,000 to $100,000, it costs only around $ 25,000 in India. Besides, India offers advanced medical care facilities and the added advantage is that most doctors speak English and can communicate well with foreign couples. In fact, commercial surrogacy in India is all set to become a $2.3 billion-worth industry. Couples, including gay and lesbian couples, from all over the world, have benefited from the surrogacy options available in the country.
The Future of Indian Laws on Surrogacy India
Indian laws on surrogacy are not clear. However, as the government plans to pass the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) bill, this uncertainty will change. The ART bill will regulate In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and exclude gay couples from hiring surrogates in India. This is because the government of India has not legalized gay relationships, although it has been decriminalized by the Delhi High Court. Further, surrogacy for gay couples will be an option only after the country legalizes gay relationships. The bill also provides for prohibiting IVF clinics from conducting surrogacy transactions. Instead, it plans to set up special ART banks that will track reproductive donors and surrogate mothers.
The ART bill also provides that foreign couples obtain a document from their embassy stating that the surrogate child will be granted the country’s citizenship. This document is a must-have for securing a surrogacy agreement with any ART clinic. The clause, however, may hinder the prospects for couples coming from countries that do not recognize surrogacy: for instance, Germany. There was a recent case of a German couple who had to fight for two long years before their twin toddlers were permitted to enter Germany.