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News updated at 4:40 PM IST

New rules bar foreign gay, lesbian couples from surrogacy

New Delhi, Jan 18, 2013 (PTI): 22:45 IST
File photo. For representation purpose only
Foreign gay and lesbian couples will be unable to rent a womb in the country from now on as per the new rules notified by the Union Home Ministry.

Besides couples from European countries will also not be able to have kids through surrogacy in India unless their country of origin recognises surrogacy. Most European countries do not allow commercial surrogacy.

The rules notified recently to regulate the flourishing surrogacy practice in India prohibit foreign gay and lesbian couples from doing so and allows it only to those couples who have been married for two years.

Providing protection to children born through surrogacy, the new government rules mandate that the couple commissioning surrogacy will not have to ensure citizenship to the child.

This has been necessitated as many children born out of surrogacy have not been granted citizenship in the country from which the foreign couple hails from.

Such couples wanting surrogacy in India will henceforth be allowed entry into India only through a 'Medical Visa' and not a 'Tourist Visa' as done now. They should also produce an agreement between the applicant couple and prospective Indian surrogate mother, the new rules stipulate.

The government has also fixed that Indian women involved in surrogacy should be between the age of 21 and 35 years.

According to new rules, it will also be mandatory on the part of the couple to submit a letter from the Embassy in India or the Foreign Ministry of the country where they are citizens, stating clearly that they recognise surrogacy.

The letter should also confirm that the child/children to be born to the commissioning couple through the Indian surrogate mother will be permitted entry into their country as a biological child/children of the couple commissioning surrogate.

The foreign couple will also have to furnish an undertaking that they would take care of the child/children born through surrogacy and the treatment should be done only at one of the registration Assisted Reproductive Technology clinics recognised by Indian Council of Medical Research.

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