Posted by Dr. Tejinder Mohan Aggrwal on Friday, 13th January 2012India surely requires surrogacy bill in coming future for the better understanding of society & its implementation. The surrogacy in the larger context has many factors to understand as well. Being surrogate mother & without the knowledge of its consequences of well being of the child & itís bearing on the national character, it becomes her moral responsibility to know & understand her action to be pregnant & deliver baby. The question arises has it been clearly understood what is the motive of would be parents?
Are they using surrogacy for being deprived of child because they are infertile or the lady is unable to conceive because of many factors including biological or non-biological and or is unable to bear pregnancy in-spite of being fit to conceive or for some commercial usage later in their (Childrenís) lives. This question has question mark and needs full answer before a couple is allowed to go ahead with a motive designed for selfless or selfish cause
More-over, if the surrogate receives compensation beyond the reimbursement of medical and other reasonable expenses, the arrangement is called commercial surrogacy; otherwise it is often referred to as altruistic surrogacy.
Further, the legal tangle that the woman giving birth to a child is the child's legal mother, and the only way for another woman to be recognized as the mother is through adoption (usually requiring the birth mother's formal abandonment of parental rights).
And there needs to finds out about the arrangement, that there may be financial and legal consequences for the parties involved. Sometime the jurisdiction may prevent the genetic mother's adoption of the child even though it leaves the child with no legal mother.
In-case if the intended parents change their mind and do not want the child after all, the surrogate cannot get any reimbursement for expenses, or any promised payment, and she will leave with legal custody of the child.
What does motherhood mean? What is the relationship between genetic motherhood, gestational motherhood, and social motherhood? Is it possible to socially or legally conceive of multiple modes of motherhood and / or the recognition of multiple mothers?
What about Homosexuals, Lesbians, Eunuchs, Trans-sexual and other such couples & their right to go for surrogacy & the intended to be born child.
Now to what extent should the authorities be concerned about exploitation, commoditization and / or coercion when women are paid or not paid to be pregnant and deliver the child especially in cases where there is large wealth and power plays a differential role between intended parents and surrogates?
Should there be an institution where to be surrogate mother can apply for admission & be paid for their services to the couple intending a child? Isnít it adoption is better solution for the already burdened a country with population explosion and there are many such children waiting to be taken care of by someone?
On one part there is law to curb rape & on the other side is it less than a rape but paid? Although it is easy money to earn by the needy or not so needy woman, nevertheless, whatís the difference in contracting for surrogacy more like contracting for employment / labor, or more like contracting for prostitution, or more like contracting for slavery?
To what extent is it right for society to permit women to make contracts about the use of their bodies? To what extent is it a woman's human right to make contracts regarding the use of her body? Which, if any, of these kinds of contracts should be enforceable?
The role of state needs clear explanation whether it allows or force a woman to carry out "specific performance" of her contract if that requires her to give birth to an embryo she would like to abort, or to abort an embryo she would like to carry to term?
Should a child born via surrogacy have the right to know the identity of any / all of the people involved in that child's conception and delivery?
How about the psychological traumatization of the surrogate mother after relinquishing the baby to the agreed / contracted legally or verbally parents / couple?
All these questions & many more require complete answers for the benefit of society & the parties involved.
Dr Tejinder Mohan Aggarwal
SCO 8, Sector 16
Panchkula India 134109
(Ph): +91-172-5011333 (Ext.): 102