Gay couples not allowed Indian surrogates

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There is a draft bill in India designed to regulate surrogacy which, if it becomes law, will ban gay couples from hiring surrogates in that country. The Indian surrogacy business, largely unregulated, has grown over the years to become an affordable alternative for many couples trying to have a child. The proposed law could dampen the hopes of gay couples.

The draft legislation states that only couples that are living together and in a sexual relationship that is “legal” are permitted surrogacy services.

In July 2009, the Delhi High Court had decriminalized homosexuality. They overturned a section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which had made same sex relationships a criminal act. However, homosexual partnerships are still not legally recognized in India leaving the status of committed gay couples ambiguous.

“Gay or lesbian couples will be allowed to have children through surrogacy only if the Indian law recognizes homosexual relationships at the time when the bill is passed,” said Dr. R.S. Sharma, deputy director general of the Indian Council for Medical Research. The infertility clinics in Mumbai that use surrogates are currently helping gay couples, many from the US. This practice would stop if the law is passed.

The proposed bill leaves open the question of gay singles and their ability to use surrogates. Perhaps as individuals they would be allowed. The proposed draft bill addresses single women generally, allowing them to use the services of a surrogate, but conspicuously leaves out men.

“It will be important for the new law to address the issue about single parents and defining the role of doctors and compensation given to surrogates,” said Amit Karkhanis, a lawyer familiar with surrogacy law.

In the coming weeks, modifications will be proposed to the bill.

Source: Hindustan Times


 
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