To address the increasingly tangled issue of surrogacy, India’s Home Ministry has issued tough new guidelines—including a ban on foreign gay couples and single people from using Indian women as surrogate mothers.
Now only a “man and woman” who have been married for at least two years will be granted medical visas for such purposes, reports the Times of India.
While it would be still possible for foreigners to come into India under false pretenses, the Ministry of Home Affairs hopes the updates will close any loopholes.
The new regulations come in the wake of exponential growth in Indian surrogates, and legal complications stemming from international arrangements: Many countries—France, Germany, and Italy among them—do not recognize surrogacy. One Norwegian woman was stranded in India for more than two years because Norway refused to accept her as the mother of her child, conceived via surrogate.
A notice on the policy change was authorized by the Foreign Regional Registration Office on December 17. Among the new regulations:
* Foreigners coming to India to have a surrogate child must be on a medical visa
* Only heterosexual couples married for at least two years are eligible
* The home country’s foreign ministry or embassy must certify they recognize surrogacy
* There must be be official assurance that the child will be allowed to enter the home country as a biological child of the couple
* The procedure must be done at an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) clinic recognized by the Indian Council of Medical Research