Commercial Surrogacy in India -Bans, ‘Altruism’ and the Women Involved

Dalia Bhattacharjee, a doctoral student at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, on the basis of an ethnographic study of commercial surrogacy in an Indian city, highlights some important issues that require a nuanced understanding of the process.

In late 2015, the Government of India banned foreigners from having children through surrogate mothers in India. The government expressed its reluctance to allow commercial surrogacy, while supporting altruistic surrogacy for married infertile Indian couples. It is important to look into the effects of this ban on the people involved in commercial surrogacy. This article outlines the gaps between the provisions of the latest draft bill on assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in India and the ground reality. It also highlights certain possible outcomes which may result from such a ban.