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Will Karan Johar Be The Last Biological Single Parent In India?
Will Karan Johar Be The Last Biological Single Parent In India?

Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar recently became father to twins via surrogacy, but he may be among the last to become a single biological parent in India once the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 is passed. Since the bill was drafted last year, 95% of doctors and clinics have stopped surrogacy for single parents.

The bill, although not directly banning the process of surrogacy, has laid down extensive guidelines for those interested in surrogacy. According to the guidelines, only heterosexual, Indian citizens married for at least five years without having any surviving child (biological, adopted or surrogate) or having a mentally/physically disabled child can opt for surrogacy. In addition, the couple should have proven medical problems in having a natural child and the women should be aged 23-50 years and the man aged 26-55 years.

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Based on the guidelines, single men, single women, couples in live-in relationships and homosexual couples are not eligible to become parents via surrogacy.

Additional stipulations are also now applicable on the surrogate mother, effectively ending the concept of commercial surrogacy. As per the drafted bill, the surrogate mother must be a married woman, a close blood relative of the couple, should be aged 25-35 years, should have a child of her own and should be certified as medically and psychologically fit for surrogacy. Any eligible woman can become a surrogate only once in her lifetime.

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Surrogacy specialists and Doctors have weighed in against the bill, that banning commercial surrogacy will either result in prospective parents going abroad to countries that allow the practice (such as US, Ukraine), or the surrogacy will enter the black market. Applying such stringent criterion through the bill will make legal surrogacy difficult.

In contrast to the proposed bill, Doctors have said that the government should have made efforts to regularise and standardise the process, as commercial surrogacy has great potential.