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The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday gave approval for amending the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 to provide for rights of child born through surrogacy to that of a natural child or biological child and mandate for surrogacy clinics to be registered with the appropriate authorities in the states.
The amendments also seek 16 months of extended insurance coverage for the surrogate mother to cover all complications besides a strict clause to safeguard the surrogate mother from exploitation, the Union Health Ministry said.
Also, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) now has been kept out of the purview of the Bill, it added.
The proposed legislation ensures effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow altruistic surrogacy to the needy Indian infertile couples, as per an official statement.
Once it becomes the Act, it will regulate the surrogacy services in the country, control the unethical practices in surrogacy and prevent its commercialization of surrogacy. It will also prohibit potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy.
"While commercial surrogacy will be prohibited including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes, ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples will be allowed on fulfillment of certain conditions and for specific purposes," the statement said.
"All infertile Indian married couple who want to avail ethical surrogacy will be benefitted. Further, the rights of surrogate mother and children born out of surrogacy will be protected."
The Bill, applicable to whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir, proposes to regulate surrogacy in India by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level and State Surrogacy Boards and appropriate authorities in the states and union territories.
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