External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday did not mince her words slamming top Bollywood celebrities for misusing surrogacy, saying ‘what was started for convenience has become a luxury’ today.
Addressing a press conference after the Union Cabinet cleared a bill that seeks to prohibit commercial surrogacy, Swaraj said, “Big celebrities who not only have one but two children, a son and a daughter, even then they went ahead with surrogacy.”
Though the minister refrained from taking names, the reference was unmissable. Some of Bollywood’s leading celebrities have opted
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri Khan opted for surrogacy when the couple wanted their third child after Aryan and Suhana. The couples’ third child AbRam was born on May 27, 2013, through surrogacy.
Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao – another star Bollywood couple — also used a surrogate mother for their child Azad Rao Khan.
The new Bill prohibits commercial surrogacy but allows ethical surrogacy to needy infertile couples. “It also prohibits single parents, homosexual couples, live-in relationships couples to opt for altruistic surrogacy,” said Swaraj.
Recently, Tusshar Kapoor became a single dad through surrogacy. The law, when implemented is intended to act as a deterrence for single parents from using surrogacy.
On the question allowing surrogacy to homosexual couples, Sushma said that it does not go with “our ethos.”
“You can say it (allowing surrogacy for homosexual couples) is looking forward and we can say this doesn’t go with our ethos,” she said.
The passage of the bill will effectively put an end to the practice of “womb on rent”. Only close relatives can be surrogates, though the bill does not specifically say what defines close relatives.
The bill allows altruistic surrogacy to Indian citizens living in the country. NRIs (Non-Resident Indian) or OCI (Overseas citizens of India) card holders will not be allowed.