The lower house of the Indian Parliament, Lok Sabha, yesterday accepted the Surrogacy Regulation Bill, a 2016 draft bill banning all forms of commercial surrogacy in India (see Surrogacy in India: restrictions onthe agenda). The law, discussed in Lok Sabha since 21 November, allows some cases of “altruistic” surrogacy for infertile couples, under very strict regulations.
- From now on, surrogacy is prohibited for foreigners, and Indians not residing in India.
- It will also be prohibited for homosexuals, singles and unmarried couples.
- The parents must have been married for at least five years and have a medical certificate of infertility. Surrogacy will be reserved for childless couples.
- The mother must be between 23 and 50 years old, and the father between 26 and 55 years old.
- The surrogate mother must be a close relative (sister or sister-in-law). She should be married with at least one healthy child. She must be between 25 and 35 years old.
- A woman will only be allowed to be a surrogate mother once in her life.
According to Indian Health Minister J.P. Nadda, this ban on commercial surrogacy was a request “from all levels of society, political parties, the Supreme Court and the Law Commission”. Indeed, all recognise that India has become “a commercial surrogacy hub”, and that this has led Indian women to be truly “exploited”. The minister called this law “historic”.
A National Maternity Substitution Council will then be created as well as control commissions in each state.
 Lok Sabha, which means House of the People in Hindi, is the lower house of the Indian Parliament, which also comprises the Rajya Sabha, or upper house.