Should commercial surrogacy be banned in India?

Should commercial surrogacy be banned in India?


Commercial surrogacy in India is becoming more and more popular as couples resort to this method for various reasons. For years this practice has been continuing with no objection, for all we know it is the personal decision of a couple to hire a womb for their baby. But recent reports have it that India is going on to become the top destination of surrogacy tourism. Supreme Court expressed concern over this matter and called it "trading of embryo" and "importing embryos." SC has also called upon the indian Government to recheck the policy of embryo importing and imply a ban on commercial surrogacy. This move by SC has received mixed responses owing to the fact that some of our renowned celebs have resorted to commercial surrogacy from across continents. Should this ban be implemented or would it be curtailing freedom to impose such a ban?


1. According to a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and N V Ramana there are various issues related to surrogacy that are not covered by any law and hence it calls for the government to take a holistic view and bring in a legislation in this matter because of its growing popularity. In 2013 when a notification allowing import of embryo was issued, the trade started to flourish fast and bad. Foreign couples have been bringing frozen embryos and renting surrogate women from India. This practice could easily turn into trading for locals of villages and underprivileged half of our country and exploitation of women have also been taking a toll.

2. Surrogacy is wrong on moral grounds. It is hard to define if the woman whose eggs are donated in the process is the only mother of the child or the woman who carries the pregnancy thereafter is also the mother of the child. Genetically one is the mother but we cannot ignore the pain and emotional attachment that the surrogate mother undergoes once the life stem gets attached to her cord. It could be traumatic of them to give away the child they nourished within them, not to mention the hours of labour pain. Owing to financial crisis a woman might agree to rent her womb but at the end the psychological exploitation is unavoidable. Where is the dignity of womanhood that we worship amid all these practices that degrade her?

3. Importing embryos is commoditization of human life as pointed out by the bench in the questionnaire submitted to the centre. Ours is a society which is yet to evolve enough to accept these practices. The woman who rent her womb even if for the cause of humanity towards an unfortunate couple, the society would never accept the surrogate woman when she goes back to her routine life. Who will be there to extend her a helping hand once the deal is done?

4. There is no provision in the law for surrogacy about the custody of the child if the couple later refuse to take him along if the child is physically or mentally challenged. The law needs revision and implications to stop commercial surrogacy has to be made. The practices of surrogacy in private fertility clinics have numerous faults in them wherein exploitation of women by her family is also very common. Woman is not paid the promised amount at the end. There are agents involved who get a good share of the amount.

5. Medical malpractices have also been on a rise in private surrogacy clinics. According to a study of conditions of women at fertility clinics in New Delhi, it was found that the doctors were shockingly ignorant of the health and care of the surrogate mother. Her health is jeopardized in order to ensure higher chances of success. It is known that surrogates were often implanted with multiple embryos, sometimes as many as seven, to ensure more chances of success. With these many illegal practices growing in the wake of commercial surrogacy it is only fair to put a ban on it.

6. Altruistic surrogacy is understandable. Unfortunate couples who couldn't bear their own child owing to medical factors can resort to this method. The same applies when gays or singles want to have a child with their own generic imprint. However, commercial surrogacy just for the fact that a woman doesn't feel like getting pregnant but still wants a child with her own genes running is not the least bit ethical and should have never been entertained.


1. Put a ban on tobacco, pornography, alcohol, beef, abortions, and anything from everything only to watch it creep underground to flourish therein. What comes out of direct ban is illegal practicing of the same. The commercial surrogacy industry, similarly, has spread enough of its tentacles to be withdrawn now. People will continue to opt for this practice in illegal ways in less safer environment for the surrogate mother. There will no legal implications if the woman is exploited. And there are chances that the industry would still flourish in the name of altruistic surrogacy.

2. Poverty is an unavoidable truth of a large number of women who rent their womb to earn livelihood, good education for their children, better life for them, or a shelter over their heads. We have not been able to do much to eradicate their woes. Most of these women opt to rent wombs if given a chance. They see it as a way to earn a good amount of money. It is their choice and the court or government do not have a say in it. What followed the ban on dance bars in Mumbai is not hidden from anyone. Women were pushed into prostitution. If these women choose to earn via surrogacy, to be able to earn basic necessities of life which everyone has rights to, we definitely have no rights to curtail their freedom.

3. The couple gets the child and the woman gets the money. The couple could afford to pay as much as 10 - 11 lacs to the woman (in standard fertility clinics) along with taking care of her needs and requisites during and after the delivery. We talk about a loss of dignity and morals when surrogacy is talked about but are we willing to help those women otherwise? Would she still have her dignity when she begs in streets and traffic signals? Would it not hurt her dignity when she sees her children growing up in the same poverty where she grew up with no education and perhaps a future in dark? We need to broaden our mind and accept these women and respect their choices of renting wombs.

4. The surrogacy industry in India doesn't need a ban. It needs regulations and stricter rules that could ensure good care and pay to the woman alone and not agents and compelling relatives. Good clinical facilities to the surrogate mother and healthy environment where she could stay safe before and after the delivery could lessen exploitation. Only registered fertility hospitals should be allowed to carry artificial reproduction techniques with a strict ban on private clinics. If the couple can afford to pay a hefty sum to the mother, they can go for high end registered hospitals for the procedure. Banning would do no good to the already downtrodden and poverty stricken women of India.

5. People of most countries where surrogacy is not allowed or calls for huge expenses for the procedure come to India with the hope of getting a child with their own DNA. Having a family is everyone's rights. All the wealth of the world cannot give a couple the happiness which a child can bring to them. In UK and US where many woman have problem getting pregnant, coming to India and opting for surrogacy is a ray of hope for them.


Commercial surrogacy does not need to done away with completely, especially not for surrogacy tourism. Foreigners who hire surrogates from India have a need to do so, especially since the procedure is not allowed in their own country. Regulations on the bill is very much needed and must be done to close loopholes from where exploration towards surrogates women continues. Giving women safe and free environment for surrogacy can help in curbing the evil attached and the industry could do well along with giving good money to these downtrodden women.
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  • RE: Should commercial surrogacy be banned in India? -Carry (02/29/16)
  • I believe that it is completely immorally to ban surrogacy or donation. Infertility is a big family tragedy. All governments dream about baby boom and the same time instead of ensure the healthy nation they build factories which pollute the environment. But surrogacy is immoral! After it coupes go in India, Thailand, Mexico and suffer from cheaters and get ill children. In such countries surrogacy should be banned, not in European countries. I passed my program in Ukraine, this country suits very perfectly for surrogacy journey.
  • RE: Should commercial surrogacy be banned in India? -Deepa Kaushik (11/04/15)
  • Commercial surrogacy has many inter-related concerns that requires to be tackled much before discussing the commercial surrogacy and its legalization. Commercial surrogacy not only complies the issueless parents, but it also involves the unmarried mother who need to live her entire life in the society.

    Our society is not all that open-minded to accept a women the way she is. We have our orthodox supersititiousness which we cover-up under our traditions and culture. culture or tradition never teaches to dis-respect women or look down upon her. Neither does it asks to over-power women without her consent for the same. But our society is very much towards promoting these ill-virtues which leaves the saurrogate mother to live a life of misery.

    We can o a point undersand the misery of the surrogate mother o be due to her own decisions. But, we cannot accept the disregard to the physically or mentally challenged child born out of surrogacy, who is condemn by both the parties and lef o he mercy of the almighty.

    We should either restructure the framework of our laws, and the mentality stuck into he sick minds of our society, or we should go ahead with the ban on commercial surrogacy as of now; till we are unable to achieve the wide transformation into the mental framework of our people to accept surrogate mothers and help them lead a normal life ahead.