Indian Government Bans Foreign Gay Couples From Using Surrogates

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 5.22.31 PMTo 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



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  • Dionte

    Why would anyone use a surrogate in another country when there are plenty of women in the u.s.

  • Daniel-Reader

    The hygiene in India is horrifyingly atrocious. There is quite literally garbage thrown everywhere – in the cities, in the countryside. There is no escape from it. If you visit a resort, the resort will generally be clean but just outside its wall there is crap thrown everywhere. It would be impressive if the government of India cleaned it up, or if the people of India had enough self respect to stop randomly pitching it all over the place.

  • mlbumiller

    @Dionte: It is about legal issues and cost. I had a fried that was a surrogate, the cost her heath insurance was $35,000, she was paid $20,000 then there was the leagal and fertility cost on top. I am sure all that is much less in India.

  • kvitka

    I have another question. Why surrogacy is not legal in almost all European countries? ? What lgbt-activists think about it?!!

  • Hannah

    @Dionte: US surrogacy can be $100k+ and many states don’t recognize surrogacy leaving the possibility that the surrogate can keep the baby regardless of signed documents. In India surrogacy is only around $20K and surrogacy is recognized so that biological parents are always declared the parents.

  • Kieran

    What do you expect from CATHOLIC India?

  • Unite

    Surrogacy laws are in its infancy worldwide. Commercial surrogacy is illegal in most western countries but allowed in India. Child born outside the US needs to meet special requirements before he/she can immigrate to the US. The innocent IVF children are placed in a “no man’s land of laws”. What is their fault? If their legal recognition is in limbo, then what about protection of their basic human rights and child rights? Where are the laws for the entire IVF ecosystem? What about protecting the rights of the donors, surrogates and most importantly the IVF child? There has to be an open discussion on protecting RIGHTS of ALL. There are 8 different ways to assign parenthood through IVF. There is ONLY ONE way to assign parenthood through a natural birth. Why are we trying to fit a square peg in a round hole? Have all 8 different scenarios been considered when drafting laws for assigning parenthood for an IVF child?

  • kvitka

    Commercial surrogacy should be legalized everywhere.
    A ban on it violates the rights of male same-sex couples, as well as the rights of heterosexual couples where the woman for various reasons, cannot bear a child. The so-called non-profit surrogacy in fact does not allow gay couples to reproduce. It is worth noting that gay activists have given to this subject too little attention. The significance of this issue should not give importance of the issue of legalization of same-sex marriages. Why should gay couples to same-sex marriages if they are denied the right to have children?

    commercial surrogacy:
    1) voluntarily-paid;
    2) creates jobs;
    3) improves the demographic indices, which is especially important for European nations;
    4) brings happiness to the genetic parents and gives new life.
    5) The alleged impossibility of having children in gay couples – reason for homophobia. Right to have children – a fundamental human right!

  • Pippa123

    There is no actual law that prevents anyone from using a surrogate in India.
    There are no new laws, there is a new visa requirement which requires pople to be married which is inconsistent with the current ICMR guidelines.

  • kvitka

    1. The work of surrogate mother is an “economic coercion” and is a forced measure?

    This is absurd, since any work can be called a forced measure. The work of surrogate mother is voluntary. Everyone is free to choose what they want to do. In this case, the thesis of economic coercion is incorrect and is only a left-populist slogan of radical extremist groups.

    2. Why do not they want to adopt children from an orphanage?

    People want their own children for variety of reasons. Of course those, who feel that it is enough for them to adopt, can do it.

    3. How to build the relationship between a surrogate mother and genetic parents of a baby?

    Under an agreement which both parties sign.

    4. It is immoral and not pleasing to God.

    In a secular country (as well as in any democratic country) it is immoral to appeal to ancient religious ideologies that justify violence, murder, slavery, and many other things. It is also immoral to deny that people have a right for marital happiness.

    5. The surrogate mother will bind to her child and wouldn’t want to give it away.

    Those surrogate mothers bear someone else’s biological child. Only women psychologically ready for the process of bearing another man’s child and gave birth before are allowed to work. Admission to work is possible only after approval of the expert psychologist. Which exclude a possibility of such situation in vast majority of cases.

    6. Many radical and leftist feminists believe this is the exploitation of women.

    In this case, the work of miners, metallurgists, rescuers is the exploitation of men. And donation of sperm is “the use” of men. But for some reason no one puts forward proposals to ban it. It’s simple! Those who believe that surrogacy (or prostitution) is unacceptable for themselves shouldn’t personally experience it and do not impose their views on those who disagree. Forbiddance for women to freely use their own body as they see fit is a violation of the rights and freedoms of women. It is also the discrimination against women that want to raise their biological children.

    7. Commercial surrogacy is very expensive, almost no one will use it.

    In most cases, It is much cheaper than the cheapest apartment. Even a family with average income is able to use this service more than once.

    8. Only “evil”, marginal women with no education may agree to work as surrogate mothers.

    This opinion is generally expressed by left-wing extremists whose views are traditionally much detached from the real world. Those who agree to work are women with noble desire to help people and provide for themselves and their loved ones . While a bright socialist future is nowhere to be seen, women have the right to choose to receive “some money” (which, in many cases, is clearly not enough to make living and support one’s family) after graduating from college, or earn well, performing complex, but noble and completely natural work for a woman.

  • kvitka

    9. The work of the surrogate mother is very difficult, women often die, doing it.

    It is fit to say about double standards, when the birth of one’s child is natural and no one dies, but bearing and birth for a financial reward is positioned like something very bad. Moreover, if laws governing this area are absent, all sorts of criminal abuse are possible against the background of the annual growth in demand for this service. As well as it does in case of the prohibition of abortion and prostitution: such phenomenon continues to exist, but goes to the level crime.

    10. Legalization of commercial surrogacy is not expected to have any impact on demographics.

    Unfortunately, to date, a significant number of heterosexual couples cannot have children because of medical problems. Also, recent studies have shown that the majority of gay and bisexual men personally want to use the service. Amid the rapid aging and even population decline in many countries (especially in Europe), as well as highly inefficient economic encouragement of childbirth, legalizing commercial surrogacy for everyone can improve demographics and it is an issue of national security.

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