NEW DELHI — India’s government has cleared the way for a measure that would ban all commercial surrogacy in the country, allowing only close family relatives to become surrogate mothers. The proposed measure is a blow to the thriving but unregulated rent-a-womb industry that many activists say is exploiting poor women.
Surrogacy Bill 2016 will be presented in Parliament for approval in the next session.
“This is a revolutionary step for women’s welfare,” said Sushma Swaraj, India’s foreign minister, who presided over a panel that examined the legal and ethical issues involved in commercial surrogacy and drafted the bill. “Many so-called childless couples were misusing the wombs of poor women. It was a matter of great worry because there were instances where a girl child or disabled child have been abandoned soon after birth.”