Thu, Oct 27, 2016 | updated 12:37 AM IST

Surrogacy Bill will check population, exploitation of poor women: Abha Singh

Updated: Aug 26, 2016 08:11 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug. 26 (ANI): Welcoming the newly drafted Surrogacy Bill, social activist and eminent lawyer Abha Singh said Friday, "I think this is a bill which is well meaning and should be passed by the Parliament as early as possible" as it will check the misuse of provisions in the country.

She told ANI that the bill will prevent exploitation of poor women being used as surrogates for money and will also check the middlemen who are trying to bring women from poor areas for the purpose of surrogacy.

"The way poverty of women folk is being used in surrogacy, there are women who are anaemic , who are sick, who just for a little money are producing children for others, and in fact, they are not even paid," she said.

She said the new bill will put an end to commercial surrogacy and regulate this growing commercial venture.

Detailing out the new rules in the surrogacy bill, Singh said, "Any woman who wants to do surrogacy should be married and should have her own child. Also, she can do surrogacy only once, which will check the commercial venture that has been going on in India."

She added the new rules will also help check gender equality, as couples with a daughter go for surrogacy just to have a boy. This will also check the population rise in the country.

"All those parents who are married for five years at least and have a biological child or an adopted child will not be allowed to go in for surrogacy. This will put an end to all the parents who have daughters but want a son through surrogacy. Also all parents who have two children should not go for a third child because now the way population is increasing in this country, any increase in children will be a bane to this country. So, this would be a great check on population," she said adding that people from around the world are coming to India for surrogacy because people are poor over.

On the ban on the LGBT community to have children via surrogacy, Singh said, "All gays, lesbians, LGBT community will not be allowed to have children through surrogacy. Rightly so, because the fate and welfare of the child is most important and till the time these issues are sorted out, I don't think any surrogacy should be allowed in this sector.

She added that once the bill is passed, violation of its rules will lead to a minimum of ten years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs. ten lakhs.

Senior advocate and Rajya Sabha member K.T.S Tulsi, however, was critical of the Centre's move to ban commercial surrogacy, describing surrogacy as one of the biggest support systems for poor women. He urged the government to introduce greater regulation to protect them.

He also proposed that the provision which prevents single parents, homosexual couples and live-in relationship couples to access altruistic surrogacy must be scrapped.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for the introduction of Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016.

The Bill aims at prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing ethical surrogacy to needy infertile couples.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said that the bill was introduced as India emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples, and added that the government is aware of unethical practices.

Criticisng the practice of commercial surrogacy, Swaraj said, "What started as a need, has now turned into a hobby."

The Bill will be introduced during the winter session of Parliament. (ANI)