Surrogacy Bill sent to Select Committee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21

With the government agreeing to the Opposition demand, the Rajya Sabha today referred the Surrogacy Bill, which aims to ban commercial use of the method, to the Select Committee. The Bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha during the Monsoon session of Parliament on August 5.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan moved a resolution in the Upper House of Parliament referring the Bill to the committee, which received unanimous support from members.

The contentious provisions in the Bill were the five years waiting period prescribed for a couple to avail surrogacy measures and allowing only close relatives of a person to be a surrogate mother.

During the discussion on Wednesday, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh said the Bill was drafted without taking note of realities of Indian families. “It is unrealistic to expect one’s sister or sister in law to be a surrogate mother,” he had said. The Bill is effectively banning surrogacy, instead of regulating it, added the Congress MP.

AIADMK MP Vijila Sathyanath also suggested that the five-year waiting period post marriage, before a couple becomes eligible to undertake surrogacy, should be removed. Seconding the proposition, MP Lal Singh Vadodia questioned the need to wait for five years in cases where the woman did not have a uterus.

Suggesting that the Bill be postponed until the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Bill is passed, Ramesh had said, “It is very complicated Bill.”

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