A surrogate mother is a woman who carries and gives birth to a baby for “commissioning parents” and hands them the newborn for money after surrendering all her parental rights. A contract involving such an agreement is a surrogacy agreement.

The Central Government has informed the Supreme Court that it proposes to ban the import of human embryos for commercial surrogacy and would permit “only altruistic surrogacy to… infertile married Indian couples”. Foreign couples would not be allowed to commission children through impoverished surrogate Indian mothers. The move would bring the curtains down on what is considered a $445 million annual business in the country. The issue of parentage in surrogacy involving  legal complications – would be dealt with in the draft of The Assisted Reproductive Techniques (Regulation) Bill, 2014, which is still at the consultation stage among various stakeholders.

A notification prohibiting the import of human embryos for commercial surrogacy had been issued following the apex court’s October 14 suggestion, wherein Centre was told to consider banning such import and restricting it to medical research purposes while hearing a PIL filed by an advocate, Jayashree Wad, seeking a ban on commercial surrogacy.