In a significant development, National Commission for Women (NCW) has asked central government that single women be allowed to become surrogate mothers.
“We suggested that single women whether divorced or unmarried be allowed to become surrogates,” Lalitha Kumaramangalam, chairperson of NCW has reported in the media.
According to the new law, 23 years will be the minimum age to become a surrogate mother.
The move comes after the National Commission for Women organised a national consultation on surrogacy which was attended by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Women and Child Development.
India has emerged as a leader in international surrogacy and a sought after destination in surrogacy-related fertility tourism, in the last few years. The surrogates have been increasingly popular with couples in from western nations because of the relatively low cost.
Surrogacy and other issues of fertility treatment are dealt with in the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Regulation) Bill, in the works for several years now. The draft ART Bill has recently been uploaded on the health ministry website and stakeholders have been asked to send in their comments by November 1
The NCW chairperson has also said that the draft bill, once converted into a law, will protect the health and the rights of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy in the country.
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