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Surrogacy Bill: abusing the poor in the baby market will now stop

NEW DELHI: When Sushma Swaraj introduced the Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2016 to the Cabinet, saying: "The Bill allows surrogacy only for necessity not for luxury or fashion as we have seen repeatedly," I breathed a sigh of relief.

In a nutshell, the new bill bans all forms of commercial surrogacy. The only kind of surrogacy it allows is altruistic surrogacy by close family members. That too is allowed for Indian married couples only. No foreigners. No homosexuals. No single parents. A woman can only be an altruistic surrogate mother once in her lifetime. Not more. Within what has come to be known as the surrogacy capital of the world, responses have been from jubilance to disbelief to hopping mad.
Over 3000 clinics in India provide IVF to surrogate mothers. Once a woman agrees to become a surrogate, the egg is fertilised through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and then placed inside the surrogate mother.
This is known as gestational surrogacy and is one of the most common ways in which artificial reproductive technology (ART) is used.
Leading ART clinics oversee 100 to 300 births every year. The number of IVF cycles shot up from an estimated 7,000 cycles in 2001 to 85,000 in 2011.

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