Through the years, India’s stand on surrogacy has varied from a medico-liberal to a carceral model, but the best safeguards for surrogates would be empowerment rather than relying on the market or the state for protection.
Law has long been the site of intense political, social and economic contest over women’s reproductive labour. Surrogacy is no exception. Over the past 15 years, numerous legislative drafts on surrogacy have been proposed, making India possibly the only country in the world to seriously consider all possible regulatory approaches to surrogacy ranging from a liberal, contract-based model in the late 1990s to a prohibitionist, carceral model in 2016.
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