Seeking to opt for a surrogate mother? Prepare to purchase health insurance

Seeking to opt for a surrogate mother? Prepare to purchase health insurance  25th January 2023

In India, as in the rest of the world, countless single people and couples want to start a family. However, not everyone has the same level of luck, and natural conception may not be an option for certain men, women, or couples. Thus, surrogacy is viewed as an excellent option for resolving this issue.

However, there are several potential problems when deciding to go through with surrogacy. To safeguard intended parents' rights and surrogate moms, the Indian government has enacted new surrogacy legislation, which indirectly impacts online health insurance companies. Keep reading to find out what the law in India says regarding surrogacy.

The Surrogacy Regulation Act in India.

Surrogacy is a burning issue in many parts of the world, considering their complex surrogacy laws. Before commercial surrogacy was banned in 2015 in India, surrogates in India used to suffer victimisation due to the lack of protection by law. It means they had limited support from the law or any other form of government to protect themselves. Plus, they were to follow either the Supreme Court's lead or the advice of the Indian Council of Medical Research.

However, The Surrogacy Regulation Act came into force on January 25, 2022, ensuring fertility services' safe and ethical practices.

Who can get surrogacy?

A surrogate mother must be in good health and between the ages of 25 and 35. She must have been married at least once and raised a child alone. She must also be a close relative of the intended parents. A woman can only serve as a surrogate once in her lifetime under the new Indian surrogacy rules, down from a maximum of three times under the old law.

Regulatory framework for surrogacy in India.

There are two sorts of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and gestational or host surrogacy. Artificial insemination with the father's sperm is the traditional method. It establishes the surrogate as the child's actual mother.

An embryo created via in vitro fertilisation is implanted into a surrogate mother in gestational surrogacy. It is widely held that gestational surrogacy is simpler than traditional surrogacy, which has led to increased cases involving gestational surrogacy.

Following is a summary of the recent legislation regarding surrogacy regulation, effective as of January 25, 2022.

1. Commercial surrogacy banned:
Commissioning parents in the legally permitted altruistic surrogacy arrangement are responsible for covering the surrogate's medical expenses and providing health insurance coverage. Initially, only commercial surrogacy was legal in India. Earlier, commercial surrogacy compensated the surrogate mother for her services.

2. Health insurance proof becomes mandatory:
Couples who choose surrogacy to have a child must pay for the surrogate mother's health insurance for three years. The IRDA must approve the insurer following the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act requirements. The sum insured must be sufficient to cover all costs incurred by the surrogate because of difficulties emerging during and after the pregnancy.

3. Additional protection for the surrogate mother:
The surrogate mother can end the pregnancy at any time during the surrogacy arrangement. The permission form format to be obtained from the surrogate has also been changed.
The couple must file an affidavit guaranteeing payment of expenses of the surrogate mother, including medical care in the event of illness or the surrogate mother's death and compensation for other losses.

The new surrogacy rules in India are intended to protect the rights of surrogate mothers by guaranteeing them access to online health insurance companies and policies if any difficulties arise during the pregnancy. While this is a positive development, India still has a way to go before we adequately safeguard the rights of surrogate mothers.

Click HERE to buy health insurance if planning for surrogacy.

Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.