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Nirali Nayak   23 June 2021

Surrogacy laws

Can anyone please tell me about the Indian laws on surrogacy? And can a surrogate mother claim the custody of a child? Will the biological parents have to pay for the maintenance of the surrogate child?

 4 Replies

G.L.N. Prasad (Retired employee.)     23 June 2021

You can not grasp key issues involved through a simple reply in the forum after amendment.  Kindly search on google and find out the latest laws, amendments.  There is a letter of understanding and agreement between biological parents and surrogate parents and child custody and maintenance always remains with biological parents and absolutely there exists no relationship to surrogate mother after delivery and handing it over to biological parents.  The Hospital that has conducted the process ensures that biological parents' rights are protected.  But, those children from many countries visit the surrogate mother, send gifts to the mother as a courtesy and it is just a courtesy.

P. Venu (Advocate)     23 June 2021

You may search the internet. 

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     25 June 2021

surrogate mother shall relinquish all parental rights over the child.

 While a surrogate has rights, the right to keep the child is not one of them. Once legal parenthood is established, the surrogate has no legal rights to the child and she cannot claim to be the legal mother

A traditional surrogate is the biological mother of her child, meaning she has parental rights and the power to change her mind and keep the baby. The intended parents would then need to go to court to gain custody of the child.

In the year 2018  , an Indian surrogacy law was passed that:

  • Made commercial surrogacy illegal
  • Only allows altruistic surrogacy for needy, infertile Indian couples
  • Requires intended parents to be married for five years and have a doctor’s certificate of their infertility
  • Restricts women to being surrogates only once, and only if they are a close relative of the intended parents, are married and have a biological child
  • Bans single parents, homos*xuals and live-in couples from surrogacy

Vasundhara Singh (Student)     29 June 2021


The surrogacy bill, 2018 lays down the guidelines for surrogacy in India, and after its enactment, it aims to prohibit commercial surrogacy. Before the bill, India was a hub of surrogacy especially for foreign nationals as it provided cheaper and easier ways of surrogacy but due to the leniency, several cases of abandon surrogate children were being reported in India.  

The bill of 2018 prohibited all kinds of commercial surrogacy and banned it for foreign nationals and NRIs as they quite often used to leave the child to the surrogate mother. The bill also laid down several other conditions such as the surrogate mother should be a close relative of the assigning parents. Other conditions were:  

  • The surrogate mother should be married.  

  • She must have had a child before the surrogacy offer.  

  • She is also required to be between 25 to 35 years of age.   

  • The surrogate mother shall be allowed to offer her services just once.   

  • The Act also forbids any exchange of monetary nature between the surrogate mother and the seeking couple.  

It also banned surrogacy for single parents, live-in couples, and homos*xual couples which became a matter of criticism for the Bill.  

The right of a surrogate mother over the child has been interpreted differently from case to case. In some cases, the surrogate mother was said to be the real mother and had rights over the child whereas in other cases, the commissioning parents were treated as the real parents of the surrogate child.  


Vasundhara Singh  

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