Surrogacy for Overseas Citizens of India – Yes or No?


Surrogacy in India has been a much debated topic since last year when a central notification was issued by way of which surrogacy was banned for foreign nationals including Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders. In fact the issue on surrogacy through a Public Interest Litigation is also being heard by the apex court wherein it was stated that India had been considered as a major hub for commercial surrogacy in the world due to unregulated practice of the trade.

However, if given a thought how can commercial surrogacy be limited to foreign nationals and the surrogacy provided to Indian nationals is not being considered as commercial surrogacy. It is correct to say that the opportunity or chances to exploit surrogate mothers may be more with foreign nationals but banning surrogacy for them may not be the only solution. On the other hand it may be incorrect to state that Indian nationals will not indulge in commercial surrogacy in the country due to which they have been allowed the same.

In fact very recently a group of OCI card holders have also challenged the said notification before the apex court in the same matter and termed the move against OCI cardholders as discriminatory in nature. The group strongly opposed the ban and also questioned and sought the reason for such a ban on overseas citizens of India. The apex court also asked that under what authority of law is the ban being imposed on OCI cardholders as even the draft Bill does not contemplate it. Although the matter may be taken up by the apex court in April, 2016 but it has become imperative to think how surrogacy as a medical practice has become an issue so strong that it is not only affecting the aggrieved parties like the infertile parents and surrogate mothers but also the medical tourism of the country.

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