Overseas citizens of India exploit surrogate mothers, the Centre has told the Supreme Court, refusing to relax surrogacy guidelines.
OCIs (overseas citizens of India), the government said, were foreigners and the countries they were citizens of didn’t recognise surrogacy, denying visa and citizenship to the child. It didn’t want to “bear the burden of stateless surrogate children”, the government told the court on Thursday.
According to the government, India “does not want to bear the burden of stateless surrogate children whose country of origin does not wish to raise such a child whose existence is offensive to them”.
The Centre submitted is stand on the status of OCIs in response to a petition challenging the November 2015 notification that prohibits such Indians from commissioning surrogacy in India. The guidelines will remain in force until Parliament passes legislation regulating surrogacy.
Solicitor general Ranjit Kumar and advocate Swarupama clarified the government viewpoint before a bench headed by justice Ranjan Gogoi who dismissed the petition filed by an OCI. The court said it could not interfere in a policy matter and noted the new bill was ready to be placed before Parliament.
The Centre said most of the foreign nationals including OCIs come from European countries where surrogacy is banned and because “cheap surrogate mothers” are available in India. A lot of them are gay and same-sex couples who enter into international surrogacy arrangements that are commercial, which the government is opposed to.