What's in the ART and Surrogacy Bills? Read on to find out.
ART and Surrogacy Bills: After passing the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill two years ago, the Lok Sabha has now passed the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill. What is the change, and how is ART to be regulated under the new Bill?
The Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill, 2020, was passed by the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, providing for the safe and ethical practice of assisted reproductive technology (ART) services in the country.
The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019, was enacted by the Lok Sabha on August 5, 2019, to protect women's reproductive rights. This one was referred to a Select Committee, which advised that the ART Bill be introduced first, so that the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019, could cover all of the highly technical and medical concerns.
What Is The Difference?
The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill is about surrogacy, which is an infertility therapy in which a woman serves as the surrogate mother. Treatments can be obtained by the commissioning couple alone in ART, and a third person is not necessarily required.
Surrogacy is only permitted for married Indian couples. Married couples, live-in partners, single women, and foreigners are all eligible for ART operations. A 2015 announcement prevents foreigners, OCI or PIO cardholders, from contracting surrogacy in India. However, NRIs with Indian citizenship can do so. Foreigners can visit India for ART services through medical tourism.
The Surrogacy Bill establishes a National Surrogacy Board, which will participate in policymaking and serve as a supervisory body, as well as state surrogacy boards, which will serve as executive bodies. The ART bill establishes a national board with powers granted by the Code of Civil Procedure to a civil court.
Surrogacy facilities in India are expected to number less than 1,000, whereas ART clinics are projected to number more than 40,000, according to the Health Ministry.