Great expectations: on Surrogacy Bill

Great expectations: on Surrogacy Bill

Ending commercial surrogacy will not be possible without regulating ART clinics
It is a truth, universally(सार्वभौमिक ) acknowledged(अभिस्वीकृत), that surrogacy needs to be regulated by law. There is no argument about whether an issue such as surrogacy fraught with bioethical issues aplenty(आवेदन ) requires(आवश्यकता) regulation: it does. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019, should have come a long time ago. Regulations in the past in the area of child adoption and transplantation of human organs have, historically(ऐतिहासिक रूप से, ), borne fruit, effectively(प्रभावी रूप से ) putting an end to rampant(अनियंत्रित/बड़े पैमाने पर) commercial transactions, and providing( प्रदान करना) a structure by which any excursions(आस/सैर सपाटा) outside of the law may be shut down. Flagrant violations(उल्लंघन) of human rights(अधिकारों ) have been witnessed(देखा) repeatedly(बार-बार ) in the ‘baby-making factory’ in India, the underprivileged(वंचित/बेहतर हुआ ) woman often(अक्सर ) in the cross hairs, and at the bottom of the pile. The plethora(अधिकता) of unregulated assisted (सहायता) reproductive (प्रजनन )techniques((तकनीकों ) (ART) clinics that mushroomed, coinciding(मेल खाना) with India becoming a global “health-care(स्वास्थ्य देखभाल) destination(स्थान/स्थान) , ensured that there was a good volume of traffic toward the country, besides growing domestic(घरेलु ) demand(मांग) for surrogacy services. In this context, there is expectation(उम्मीद ) that the Surrogacy Bill will regulate commercial surrogacy, while allowing an altruistic(परोपकारी) form of it to continue, by putting in place strict(सख्त ) supervisory(पर्यवेक्षण) and regulatory frameworks. The question here is whether the Bill, recently passed by the Lok Sabha, will serve the wholesome purpose of egulating the vastly(बेहद) complex (जटिल )area of surrogacy, while sensitively (संवेदनशील )balancing(संतुलन) the needs of ‘intending( इरादा) parents’ and surrogates.

The Bill mandates payment to the surrogate mother, who can only be a ‘close (नज़दीकी )relative(रिश्तेदार)’, to the extent(सीमा) of covering medical expenses(चिकित्सा खर्चों) and providing insurance during the term of the pregnancy. It has specified(निर्दिष्ट) that ‘exploiting(शोषण/लाभ उठाना) the surrogate mother’ would attract(आकर्षित करना) punishment of imprisonment(कैद होना) of up to 10 years and a fine of up to ₹10 lakh; advertising for surrogacy and selling/importing human(मानव ) embryos(भ्रूण) or gametes for surrogacy also attract the same punishment. It has mandated registration of surrogacy clinics, and put in place regulatory boards to ensure(सुनिश्चित ) compliance with the law. But its critics(आलोचकों ) have panned it for the lack of specifics in definitions (the generalised ‘close relative’ criterion for surrogates); the exclusion of various groups of people from access to surrogacy (only married couples of a certain age group are eligible); and primarily, of trying to put the ‘cart before the horse’ by seeking to regulate surrogacy before setting the ART house in order. The capacity of the state to end commercial surrogacy may itself be compromised(समझौता किया) if it does not first set up a regulatory framework for ART clinics, which provide the basic technology for surrogacy. Else, the government is merely setting itself up to implement (लागू) a law that may spectacularly(शानदार) fail. That would be a tragedy(शोकपूर्ण घटना,), because this is one law that is pregnant with the possibility(संभावना) of truly revolutionising(क्रांति) the surrogacy sector, cleaning it up, and fulfilling(सफ़ल करना) the dreams of people who are themselves unable to bear children.

Important Vocabulary


1. Acknowledged(अभिस्वीकृत
Synonyms: accepted, approved, confirmed, recognized, unquestioned

2. Aplenty(आवेदन
Synonyms: generous, plenty, rich, ample, bounteous
Antonyms: conservative, economical, greedy, lacking, mean

3. Rampant(अनियंत्रित/बड़े पैमाने पर)
Synonyms: excessive, flagrant, growing, prevalent, raging
Antonyms: gentle, mild, moderate, moral, restrained

4. Altruistic(परोपकारी)
Synonyms: charitable, humanitarian, magnanimous, philanthropic, Robin Hood
Antonyms: stingy, uncharitable, selfish, unsacrificing

5. Vastly(बेहद)
Synonyms: enormously, exceedingly, extremely, greatly, hugely

6. Complex (जटिल
Synonyms: complicated, convoluted, composite, compound, conglomerate
Antonyms: simple, single, uniform, unmixed, apparent

8. Coinciding(मेल खाना)
Synonyms: concur, correspond, jibe, accompany, accord
Antonyms: differ, disagree, dissent, oppose, protest

9. Plethora(अधिकता)
Synonyms: deluge, glut, overabundance, plenty, profusion

10. Imprisonment(कैद होना)
Synonyms: captivity, confinement, custody, incarceration, isolation
Antonyms: freedom, liberation, liberty, discharge, liberating

11. Excursions(आस/सैर सपाटा
Synonyms: cruise, expedition, jaunt, junket, outing

12. Critics(आलोचकों
Synonyms: authority, cartoonist, commentator, expert, judge
Antonyms: amateur, complimented, praise

13. Spectacularly(शानदार)
Synonyms: infamously, notably, especially,


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