Mimi and the legal aspects of surrogacy: A boon or bane

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Mimi and the legal aspects of surrogacy: A boon or bane

Written By:– Hrishika Rawat

 

What is Surrogacy

Surrogatus is a Latin word that means “substitute,” or “someone designated to function in the place of another.” Surrogacy, according to Black’s Law Dictionary, is the procedure of bearing and delivering a child for someone else. Surrogacy, according to the New Encyclopaedia Britannica, is a procedure in which a woman carries a child for a couple who are unable to conceive naturally.

Surrogacy is the result of the coming together of science, society, services, and people to make it a reality. For both the infertile couple and the surrogate mother, surrogacy is a win-win arrangement. The infertile couple is able to realise their greatest goal, and the surrogate mother is well compensated.

Giving a womb for rent is nurturing the fertilized egg of another couple in your womb and giving birth to the kid for a specified purpose, which might be money, service, or humanitarian motives.

Bhadaraka has described the following misconceptions regarding a surrogate mother:

  • She is not the genetic mother of the child whom she nurtures and gives birth to.
  • She is not the wife of the father of the child to whom she gives birth.
  • This is a scientific idea, a scientific process. There is no need for any physical contact.
  • She is not an asocial woman.
  • This is not an illegal practice.
  • She is not forced into this.
  • She herself decides whether she wants to become a surrogate mother or not.
  • She has no claim or rights over the child that is born.
  • “This is my child”, “this child is my inheritance” – she cannot articulate such thoughts, because of social, scientific and legal restrictions.
  • She is not a woman who sells children.
  • She is not responsible for the child (once the child is born).
  • Surrogacy is a mutually beneficial concept of providing services.

It’s important to note that the couple’s demand runs against scientific consensus. It makes no difference what religion the surrogate is in because the kid is genetically related to the couple. Religion is understood in many ways depending on the situation, education, period, and circumstances.

Commercial surrogacy is prohibited under the Surrogacy Bill, and only altruistic surrogacy is permitted. Altruistic surrogacy is only available to infertile Indian couples who have been married for at least five years and have no surviving child (with few exclusions), similar to the ART Bill. It is still not certain as to why the existing ICMR Guidelines have been completely disregarded in the drafting of these bills.

The ICMR Guidelines, for example, allowed single women to benefit from ART and included “minimum physical requirements for ART facilities,” “important qualities of ART teams,” and “ART procedures,” all of which are absent from both the ART and Surrogacy Bills.

In Suchita Srivastava v. Chandigarh Administration, the Supreme Court equated the right to make a choice in relation to reproduction with personal liberty under Article 21 and clarified that such right includes within it the ‘privacy, dignity and bodily integrity of the woman and further stated that ‘taken to its logical conclusion, reproductive rights include a woman’s entitlement to carry a pregnancy to its full term, to give birth and to subsequently raise children.

The Supreme Court recognized the right to reproduction as an integral component of the ‘right to life under Article 21 in Devika Biswas v. Union of India. Thus, limiting ART and surrogacy to heterosexual unions within a specific age bracket while denying reproductive options to LGBT people, single people, and elderly couples would be a breach of Article 21. These restrictions also agitate against the concept of the right to equality under Article 14.

Story Of Mimi Movie

Samruddhi Porey’s had no intention of making a national award-winning film. She has a degree in microbiology and works as a lawyer, but she has always enjoyed storytelling since she was a youngster.

Mala Aai Vhaychay, her debut film, was released in 2010. (I want to be a mother). Surrogacy in India is the topic of this Marathi film, which went on to win seven state and two national honours. The film’s intricate plot revolves around a foreign couple who hires a rural woman in Maharashtra to be their child’s surrogate mother. Urmila Kanetkar plays the role of the surrogate mother.

The film gained widespread critical praise, and in 2013, famous filmmaker Singeetam Srinivasa Rao recreated it in Telugu (Welcome Obama). Now, Maddock Films Pvt Ltd is all set to release its Hindi remake, ‘Mimi’ starring Kriti Sanon, Pankaj Tripathi, and Sai Tamhankar on Netflix.

A real-life couple cancelled a surrogacy arrangement after learning that the kid could be born with a handicap six months after the surrogate mother’s pregnancy. The infant, on the other hand, was born without one. The original mother desired him right away, but the surrogate mother declined. So the two women approached Samruddhi. Moved by the issue, she dug further into the subject and learned about the grim realities of surrogate women in India.

What has followed since is a slew of awards and recognition, alongside a brand new world for Samruddhi. 

“I am overjoyed to see my child (film) develop. With a tremendous deal of difficulty, love, devotion, and care, I created and nursed this video as if it were my own child. The Hindi film may have more creative elements, but the message remains the same.

Surrogacy has been a taboo subject in our nation owing to the uncontrolled nature of the industry and the immoral activities that surround it. Samruddhi, on the other hand, went into this adventure with no film ties, expertise, or production backing. Her sole goal was to raise attention to the problem.

Conclusion

The proposed surrogacy statute makes no convincing case for prohibiting commercial surrogacy. Rather, it exposes its prejudices by singling out individuals who are not even given the choice of altruistic surrogacy. It’s about limiting citizens’ freedom of choice because they don’t follow ‘traditional’ social and cultural standards. The government should not impose its ideal views on family, food, fashion, or morals on others in a free society.

It should stay out of people’s personal lives and concentrate on what it is intended to do: maintain law and order, infrastructure, national security, and public services, as well as facilitate development to help its inhabitants escape poverty. However, it may be connected with a hand that is constantly willing to chastise but never to feed.

Surrogacy appears to be an odd practise given the fact that almost 12 million Indian children are orphans. Adopting a kid in India is a complex and time-consuming process for childless couples who wish to give these children a home. Even after 60 years of independence, India still lacks complete adoption legislation that applies to all people, regardless of religion or place of residence, whether they are Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), or Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs).

As a result, they turn to IVF or surrogacy as possibilities. Guardianship, not adoption, is permitted under the Guardian and Wards Act of 1890. Non-Hindus are not permitted to adopt a Hindu kid under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956, and immigration rules following adoption present further challenges.

There is a significant need to change and simplify the adoption process for everyone. Surrogacy rates will decrease as a result of this. Surrogacy should be pushed for altruistic reasons rather than for profit. To cover the grey areas and defend the rights of women and children, laws should be drafted and executed.

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