Dr. Radhika Murugesan
Founder & CEO, Chennai Minds
Surrogacy is the term given to an arrangement where a lady contracts to concur and beget a child for another couple or person.
Surrogacy laws have changed since the ban of commercial surrogacy in 2015 in India and the subsequent introduction of the Surrogacy Regulation Bill in 2016 thus permitting only couples who have been wed and infertile for 5 years of particular age criteria and widowed / divorced women too. The ensuing surrogacy laws which currently subsist have been far from befitting a society committed to justice and adequation.
The contemporary surrogacy laws by banning unmarried couples, LGBTQ couples, single men and women from rights to surrogacy thus divest them of the entitlements to and the privilege of biological parenthood.
We expect equitable ordinances as a just and objective society. Where are the rights of every woman who inherently serve as surrogates to every man who wishes to bequeath a biological offspring? We can hardly hear the hollering cries of exploitation when women who do not wish to propagate a child does so sheerly on coercion of the family?
A woman has every right not to carry her biological offspring just the way a man does not carry his biological offspring. Every human commands the right not to marry, the right to biological parenthood as an unwed, single person. So does a couple who might choose to give birth to their biological baby but accomplish this by not biologically carrying it. So does a couple or person who might want a chance to parent their biological offspring despite a particular age or sexual / gender orientation.
Having a CHOICE not to carry her pregnancy is a basic right of a woman. The sine qua non of an unbiased society in the eyes of the law is to be treated equally to say the least when it comes to something as personal as the HOW to beget one’s biological progeny.
We do not stand justified to dictate who can and cannot do so. But what about the question of moral and ethical rectitude to the women who surrogate?
Anything unregulated is fraught with risk of exploitation and abuse. Strict regulation and bringing in commerciality of surrogacy is one way to ensure no exploitation of women take place and informed consent to surrogacy is in place.
A woman’s true liberation is in the word CHOICE and the choice to determine her biology despite the disadvantages faced biologically by her. Surrogacy as a choice to women can be the first step to liberating a woman from their biological drawbacks.