Delhi LG gives nod to medical boards for surrogacy
The move will allow surrogacy procedures to be undertaken in the Capital without intending couples having to take permission from court.
Lieutenant governor VK Saxena approved the formation of medical boards under the Surrogacy Regulation Act in all 11 districts of the Capital on Monday. The move will allow surrogacy procedures to be undertaken in the Capital without intending couples having to take permission from court.
Officials from the lieutenant governor’s office said the medical board in each district will be a three-member body, comprising a chairperson, who will be a chief medical officer, a chief civil surgeon or joint director of health services of the district, and two members — the chief gynecologist and chief paediatrician of the district.
“Delhi LG VK Saxena approved the constitution of District Medical Boards (DMBs) under the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021 for the 11 districts of Delhi,” a statement issued by the LG read on Monday.
According to the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, notified by the union health ministry in December 2021, a district medical board has to be constituted to issue “certificate of medical indication in favour of either or both members of the intending couple or intending woman necessitating gestational surrogacy from a DMB”.
Surrogacy is defined as “a practice whereby one woman bears and gives birth to a child for an intending couple and intends to hand over the child to them after birth”.
Section 4(iii) of the Act says “no surrogacy or surrogacy procedure shall be conducted, undertaken, performed or initiated without the intending couple possessing a certificate issued by the appropriate authority (in this case district medical board) specifying the need for gestational surrogacy”.
The constitution of the district medical boards was pending in Delhi, which also led to petitions filed in courts to speed up the process.
According to the Act, the surrogate should be married and have a child of her own. It also restricts altruistic surrogacy to legally wedded infertile Indian couples, and has set an age limit for the couple where a husband must be between 26 and 55 years of age and the wife between 23 and 50 years.
Further, Indian couples with biological or adopted children are prohibited from undertaking surrogacy, except in cases of children with developmental disabilities or life-threatening disorder or illness.