Divine labours, devalued work: the continuing saga of India’s surrogacy regulation

This article offers a feminist critique of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill,2019. Fifteen years since the first proposed regulation of assisted repro-ductive technologies and surrogacy, the 2019 Bill leaves much to bedesired. It reflects a limited understanding of the complexities of surro-gacy, is discriminatory in its approach, is plagued by lack of clarity, isunrealistic and most importantly, does not include adequate safeguardsfor the surrogate. Women’s reproductive labour in performing surro-gacy is valorized but not compensated. Even though the Bill may wellaccept some recommendations of the Rajya Sabha select Committee, itsfailure to address issues that we highlight will mean that if passed, it willbe challenged in the courts on constitutional grounds. This will generateuncertainty for years, for many infertile couples and individuals wholook to the law for streamlined regulation, defeating its main purpose infacilitating a novel mode of reproduction.

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