Reproductive Rights Of Women, Surrogacy And Adoption

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Written By: Swapna Sudha Sahoo

Introduction

Surrogacy was the concept that was used since time immemorial. This concept was being introduced to provide facilities to those couples who are unable to enjoy the happiness of giving birth to their own child. It literally means, “bearing a child on the request made by another person or family”. In this case, usually, the female persons undergo surrogacy with a male member to give birth to a child which will be handed over to the couple. There are two types of surrogacy like traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy.

Traditional surrogacy was in practice since time immemorial and came into being when surrogate acolytes were used. Gestational surrogacy came into practice after the in vitro child was born. In this case, there is no formation of any genetic link between the surrogate mother and the child that she bears. It refers to the practice where a woman carries the child of another in her womb either for commercial purposes or for altruistic purposes. The word “surrogacy” is derived from the Latin word surrogates meaning substitution.

Kinds Of Surrogacy

Traditional Surrogacy

Also called natural surrogacy in which the sperm of the male person is inseminated within the female being to produce a foetus. The child thus born is genetically related to the surrogate and the male person but not to the other female person.

Gestational Surrogacy

In this case, the female has her uterus removed but still has her ovaries. She can only provide the gg to produce the baby but doesn’t have any womb for carrying it. The egg of the female person is fertilized in vitro by the sperm of the husband by IVF procedure. Then after the embryo produced will be transferred to the uterus of the surrogate mother and she carries it for nine months.

Surrogacy And Human Rights

Due to the lack of clear and proper laws for surrogacy, and using this concept for illegal commercial purposes lead to unethical and illegal medical practices which result in mental harassment of the child, the surrogate mother as well as the infertile couple. This is contrary to the protection of human rights.

Surrogacy Laws In India

The surrogacy practice takes place mainly through the process of a contract between the parties. It also contains some terms and conditions like there must be the consent of the surrogate mother to undergo this process, there must be the consent of the male person to undergo this concept also there must be the consent of the infertile wife.

Further, the surrogacy practice must provide financial assistance to the surrogate mother and in case of any health issues that may arise then the compromising relationship must be established.

The surrogacy contract must contain the life insurance policy for the surrogate mother.

Reproductive Rights

These rights are quite new in international law. It was first appeared in the Tehran Conference on human rights in 1968 which provides the space and rights to the children along with the provision of providing the facilities like education, information and proper means of source of livelihood. It was not until the world conference on population in the Cairo Conference in 1994 in which the reproductive rights were being established.

There were several provisions in this regard:

  • Family planning programs for the proper enhancement of the family needs
  • Proper and well–regulated economic incentives for the upliftment of societal needs.
  • Well-guided information for the proper establishment of targets on services and other products.
  • The main aim must be to assist infertile couples.

The Child’s Rights

The rights of the children must be protected and safeguarded. There should not be any kind of exploitation of the children’s rights. Their needs and wishes must be of prime importance. Article 7 deals with the case that once the child gets birth, he/she needs to attach a proper nationality, religion, etc.

The children are considered a boon to our society. There must not be any kind of violation of the children’s rights. They should be protected.

Issues Of Surrogacy

  • What is the degree of status on the couple and mainly on the surrogate mother?
  • Can true informed consent ever be given by the surrogate, and can anyone predict the emotions associated with relinquishing a child?
  • What happens when no one wants a handicapped child?
  • Should the child be told? What kinds of records should be kept, and should the child have access to them?

Conclusion

This article mainly deals with surrogacy, reproductive rights of women as well as adoption. Surrogacy is a concept that is quite a debatable topic in our country, India. Nowadays, surrogacy has become a kind of commercial business. It also sometimes led to unethical medical practices that affect the future of the child born out of surrogacy. There must be proper static and reliable law to prevent the bad effects of surrogacy.


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