IVF surrogacy is legal in India since 2002. In 2008 a Supreme Court judgement upheld the legal sanction of Commercial Surrogacy in India. This has reinforced the confidence of foreign couples who wish to opt for this treatment in India. In many states of USA the surrogate has legal rights over the baby. However as per Indian law the biological parents have the complete right over the child. Furthermore the surrogate can accept compensation from the parents in exchange of the service she renders.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has set “national guidelines” to regulate surrogacy.
ICMR guidelines for surrogacy:
A surrogate mother can be procured through references from relative doctors or semen banks. However, negotiations between the couple and the surrogate mother must be conducted independently.
Payments of surrogate mothers should cover all genuine expenses associated with pregnancy. Documentary evidence of financial arrangement for surrogacy must be available.
Advertisement regarding surrogacy should not be made through the Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) clinic. The responsibility of finding a surrogate mother, through advertisements or otherwise should rest with the couple, or a semen bank.
A surrogate mother should not be over 45 years of age. Before accepting a woman as a possible surrogate for a particular couple’s child, the ART clinic must ensure that the woman satisfies all treatable criteria to go through a successful full-term pregnancy.
In Indian context, a known person as well as a person unknown to the couple may act as a surrogate mother.
No woman may act as a surrogate more than thrice in her lifetime.