Pub. Info. – Inconsistent & Conflicting  Surrogacy Laws in India and Foreign Legal  Jurisdictions , Sonali Kusum, IJLSR_2015_Vol_4_No-1,  4 e-IJLSR (2015) ISSN 2278 – 4764


ABSTRACT – Surrogacy is growing worldwide as a means of alternative family formation in order to have children biologically related to the couple. Across the world there are legal discourses on the same. While many nations prohibit surrogacy, many nations are formulating their laws to regulate the same. There are differences in the surrogacy laws of different nations in terms of according legitimacy to the nature and forms of surrogacy.  There is absence of uniform binding law on surrogacy at international level India legalizes commercial , transnational surrogacy with a mere ART Bill pending enactment the Bill is subject to criticism for its shortcomings. Under such context it is important assess if the ART Bill may effectively withstand the emerging challenges related to the same and also to assess the impact of varied surrogacy laws if it shares fine balance of uniformity or causes a conflict of laws.

KEYWORDS –  Surrogacy, ART Bill, International legal statues , Private international Law.


Surrogacy is viewed as alternative means of family formation substituting natural birthing method to achieve parenthood for infertile couples. The word “surrogacy” has been derived from the Latin word “surrogates” meaning a substitute that is a person appointed to act in place of another. Black’s Law Dictionary defines Surrogacy as surrogacy means the process of carrying and delivering a child for another person[1]. As per the draft Assisted Reproductive Technology ART (Regulation) Bill [2] surrogacy is defined as an arrangement in which a woman agrees to a pregnancy, achieved through assisted reproductive technology, in which neither of the gametes belong to her or her husband, with the intention to carry it and hand over the child to the person or persons for whom she is acting as a surrogate[3].


There are different forms of surrogacy practiced around the world  which may be categorized into broad headings based on either the genetic connection between the surrogate mother and the foetus or based on the payment of monetary consideration to the gestational carrier or surrogate mother by the intending couple for rendering her gestational service as surrogate mother as mentioned below.

A.Surrogacy based on Genetic Connection[4] :

“Gestational surrogacy” is a form of surrogacy in which the surrogate mother is merely gestational carrier and not the egg donor therefore biologically unrelated to the child she carries in her womb where as “Traditional surrogacy” is a form of surrogacy in which the surrogate mother is both the gestational carrier and not the egg donor thus biologically related to the surrogate child.

B.Surrogacy based on monetary consideration[5] :

“Altruistic surrogacy” is a form of surrogacy in which the surrogate receives no financial reward for her gestational services or the relinquishment of the child where as in “Commercial surrogacy” the surrogate receives financial reward for the same. Commercial surrogacy is also referred to by the emotionally charged and potentially offensive terms “wombs for rent”, “outsourced pregnancies” or “baby farms”[6].

Conceptualizing Surrogacy as Fragmentation of motherhood – Issues & Implications :

Surrogacy has divided and compartmentalized the functional role of motherhood  among three competing women namely genetic mother or egg donor contributes to the genetic or biological make up of the child, the surrogate mother gestates the surrogate child in the womb and gives birth to the surrogate and the intending or social mother who takes the custody of  child and raises the child. Thus surrogacy through fragmentation of motherhood has transformed  the very concept of single indivisible , integral motherhood inhering in the birthing mother.[7] This situation has brought forth issues on the determination of legal motherhood among these women and consequent issues related to determination of parentage of the surrogate child.

Varying legal statues & judicial decisions in different legal jurisdictions on recognition of legal motherhood  :

In the light of this fragmentation and legal recognition of motherhood, it is worthwhile to consider the legal approaches taken by different legal jurisdictions on the definition and recognition of legal motherhood , such difference of approach has led to inconsistent , conflicting surrogacy laws , court orders among the nations at large.

Majority of nations under their respective civil law recognize legal motherhood based on the birthing capacity which inheres in the gestating  or the surrogate mother and does not recognize surrogate motherhood this brings the intending mothers ‘s right to motherhood in conflict with the surrogate mother and also causes impediments  in determination of parentage over the child. In UK, as per the Human Embryology Fertilization Act 2000[8] the surrogate mother being the birth mother is recognized as the legal mother [9]. Likewise  New South Wales (NSW)  Australia under the NSW Surrogacy Act 2010[10] confers the legal motherhood in the birth mother who is the surrogate mother [11]  Both these nations  provides for parentage order  to secure transfer of parentage of a child from the birth or surrogate mother  to the intending mother under the respective Acts. Unlike this , in Ukraine , as per the relevant provision of the  Family Code of Ukraine and Order issued by the Health Ministry of Ukraine, the Intending mother Couple is vested with the parentage of child from the moment of conception of the surrogate foetus much before the actual birth of the surrogate child and there is no scope for claiming parentage by the surrogate mother[12].

On these lines, it is appropriate to mention some of the recent cases which show the conflicting and inconsistent approach on determination of legal motherhood,  the  case of Japanese surrogate child in India , Baby Manji Yamanda Vs Union of India[13], where in  Japan recognizes legal motherhood vesting in the gestating or birthing mother irrespective of biological connection in compliance with their civil code [14] and therefore refuses to vest legal motherhood in the intending or commissioning or social mother .  Another such  recent case of Kenya , J L N & 2 others v Director of Children Services[15] the  High Court at Nairobi faced the  similar issue of determination of legal motherhood between the Intending mother  who is genetically related to the child and the surrogate or the birthing mother who gave birth to the child [16]. As per the Kenya the Births and Deaths Act the surrogate mother is entitled to legal motherhood. However the High Court at Nairobi, the Constitutional and Human Rights Division, held that the parentage may be vested with the Intending or Genetic parents in compliance with the best interest of child and denied parentage rights to surrogate mother.

In USA, different states have different laws on recognition of motherhood in surrogacy arrangements , for instance , In illinois USA, under the  Illions Gestational Surrogacy Act the intending or the commissioning mother is considered to be the legal mother not the surrogate mother[17]. In New Jersey USA the determination of legal motherhood has been varying  , in the case of Baby M[18] the New Jersey supreme court vested the legal motherhood with the intending mother.  In Johnson Vs. Calvert[19] the California Supreme Court held that gestational surrogate has no parental rights to a child and the intended mother is the legal mother under the Californian law.   Following  this fragmentation of motherhood there are other complexities as refusal to handover or surrender the surrogate child by surrogate mother to intending mother and contesting suit for claiming legal motherhood and custody over the surrogate child by the surrogate mother, this may aggravate legal issues  in the determination of motherhood , parentage ,  as illustrated in the landmark case of Baby M, New Jersey[20] where in the surrogate mother refused to handover the custody of surrogate child and brought a legal action asserting her right to legal motherhood contending that “she was the both the  natural mother and her right to raise the child pre-empted the intending  parents’. Thus this brings forth another set of issues which deserve consideration and legal resolve.

Over all, the issue of determination of motherhood and accordingly parentage under different legal jurisdiction remains a pivotal yet an inconsistent and conflicting issue!


India as a hub of Commercial Surrogacy :

India is stated to be the first country in the world to legalize commercial surrogacy in the year 2002 under medical tourism policy to earn more foreign exchange revenues [21]. India  is called as the “world capital of surrogacy” and particularly the village of Anand in Gujarat, is popularly known as the ‘cradle of the world[22]. It is estimated that India has an IVF  industry with $2.4 billion with 1000 clinics in India  producing an approximate 25,000 babies a year[23]. It is stated that Surrogacy generates US$2.3 billion annually in India[24]. The law commission in its report no 228 on the study of ART Bill calls surrogacy as an ART industry worth 25,000 crore rupee pot of gold[25].  People from all over the world choose to commission in India for being one of the most economically feasible destination as the cost of availing surrogacy treatment is only one fourth of that of the developed nations as USA, UK[26]  along with that there is easy and abundant availability of surrogate mothers, absence of statutory law, large scale commercialization or  availability of surrogacy arrangements as financial transactions in market excellent medical facilities in India[27].

Legal position of Surrogacy in India :

Though India is hailed the “Mecca of surrogacy” [28] but there are no effective statutory laws to regulate surrogacy in India. However commercial  surrogacy has been held legal in India in the trailblazer case of Baby Manaji Vs Union of India [29] with the supreme court judgement. The apex court defines “commercial surrogacy as a form of surrogacy in which a gestational carrier is paid to carry a child to maturity in her womb resorted to by well off infertile couples for attainment of parenthood”[30]. The court also describes  forms of surrogacy namely commercial altruistic surrogacy their description[31]. The Supreme court of India described commercial surrogacy as “wombs for rent, outsourced pregnancies, baby farms[32]. Similarly in the subsequent case Jan Balaz vs Anand Muncipality[33] the Gujarat High court reiterated the apex court judgment legalization of commercial surrogacy in India and this court further elucidated that “commercial surrogacy is held legal in India as there is no law prohibiting womb lending or surrogacy agreements, there are no civil or criminal penalties imposed for same.”[34]

Legal Instruments regulating surrogacy in  India :

Both these judgments directed for the enactment of law on surrogacy in India and in accordance  with these judicial dictum upholding commercial surrogacy, the Ministry Of Health Welfare, Government of India formulated the Indian Council of Medical Research ( ICMR) Guidelines titled as National Guidelines for Accreditation, Supervision & Regulation of ART Clinics in India of the year 2005[35] as the first ever national guidelines laying down the standard of conduct for surrogacy in India this Guidelines led to the formulation of a statutory law as Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) Bill 2008[36] as the ART Bill under  relevant  provisions explicitly provides for commercial surrogacy. This ART Bill is subject to frequent review and redrafting once in the year 2010[37] then latterly in the year 2013[38]. The latter draft is with the cabinet note and is a confidential document.

Salient features of the ART Bill :

i.The ART Bill in its preamble expressly  states that every couple has the right to have a child in India [39], thus the Bill begins with a right based perspective of seeking to offer a medical technology to address infertility for securing biologically related child to infertile couples.

ii.The main objective of the Bill is to regulate the practice of medical technology for medically ethical practice by regulating , controlling the conduct of fertility clinics and bringing these clinics under the framework of accreditations, regulation and supervision under the provisions of the Bill[40].

iii.The ART Bill in consonance with the supreme court directions expressly provides for large scale commercialization of surrogacy arrangements in India, the Bill provides monetary payment to the surrogate mother for agreeing to act as gestational carrier [41] and also for successive embryo transfer [42]. The Bill also provides monetary compensation to the gamete donors[43] . Thus one of the first and foremost feature of ART Bill is commercial surrogacy.

iv.The ART Bill permits transnational surrogacy that allows large scale influx or  permissibility for foreign nationals to commission surrogacy in India, this is another facet or aspect of commercial surrogacy of India. The ART Bill provides a specific provision on foreigners commissioning surrogacy and lays down the procedure, the nature of documents required for same[44].

v.The Bill defines surrogacy[45] and the key terminologies associated with the same as Surrogate mother[46] commissioning or intending couples[47] , surrogate child as the stakeholders in the surrogacy agreement enumerates  the rights and  liabilities  or responsibilities  under the ART Bill[48] .

vi.The Bill  prescribes surrogacy for all including single persons, married couples and unmarried couples[49] The Bill lays down the eligibility criteria for commissioning  surrogacy as attainment of 21 years [50] with a proof infertility exhibited through medical tests[51].

vii.The Bill also sets up administrative or registration or accreditation bodies at both national , state level[52]. The Bill mentions about the two medical bodies namely ART Clinics[53] and ART Banks[54] as independent bodies performing distinct functions. The former offers infertility treatment to the intending couples while the latter the Bank procures the gamete donors, surrogate mothers on the request of clinic for the intending couples.

viii.The Bill lays down the process of conduct of surrogacy by providing for a Surrogacy agreement to be entered into by the parties namely the surrogate mother as one party and the intending couple as the other party with the exclusion of other party including ART Clinics[55]. This surrogacy agreement held as legal and enforceable in India as per the Bill[56].

ix.The Bill expressly confers legal parentage in favour of the intending couple by registering their name in the birth certificate and excluding the surrogate mother in same[57] and the Bill makes it mandatory for the surrogate mother to relinquish all rights and handover the custody of surrogate child to the intending couple immediately at birth this ensures parentage rights of intending couple.

x.The Bill stipulates  additional conditions to be complied with by the foreign intending couples, foreigner or foreign couple not resident in India, or a non-resident for commissioning surrogacy in India by requisitioning submission of letter from the respective embassy of the country  stating necessary permit for the entry  of surrogate child born in India along with other necessary safeguards for the child[58].

xi.The Bill sets out certain offences and penal measures for the violation of the provisions and to ensure legal ethical compliance. The Bill in its attempt to control the misuse of technology prohibits sex selection under the garb of surrogacy[59] and makes it a punishable offense among others.

On the outset, the Bill has made a comprehensive attempt towards regulation of surrogacy.  However the Bill suffers from certain limitation / lacuna or gaps. Some of these may be briefly discussed here.

Brief critic of ART Bill 2010 :

i.The ART Bill has been subject to many rounds of deliberations and discussions among the Government functionaries, the concerned Ministries, Commissions , NGO , civil society Groups which has indicated the limitations in the ART Bill.

ii.One of the potent critic against the Bill is that it does not adequately protect the reproductive or maternal health of surrogate mothers and subject them to health exploitation.The Bill does not confer the surrogate mother right to seek termination of surrogate pregnancy in accordance with the existing law Medical termination of pregnancy Act 1971 which is guaranteed to every adult women in India subject to the conditions laid down in the same Act.

iii.Though the Bill mentions about insurance only for surrogate mothers but it makes it conditional to the availability of such schemes [60]  but there is no insurance for the egg donors despite the fact that both the surrogate mother, egg donors undergo hormonal treatment , the invasive or surgical treatment for extraction of eggs or implantation of embryo in the surrogate mother. The Bill omits to mention post delivery health care for any sickness arising out of surrogate pregnancy.

iv.Certain provisions in the Bill subjects the surrogate mother to health risks as successive embryo implantation[61] , multiple pregnancy[62] , foetal reduction[63] without consultation and obtaining specific consent for the same from the surrogate mother though such medical procedures carry fetal health risks to the health of surrogate mother.

v.The Bill does not provide comprehensive safeguards for the children born of over seas surrogacy arrangement. The Bill denies the children born of overseas surrogacy arrangement citizenship by birth in India.

vi.The Bill provides no social security for surrogate children in case of any eventualities or unforeseen circumstances as death or divorce of the intending couples during the course of surrogate pregnancy, though the Bill provides for appointment of local guardian but neither provide any definition of the term Guardian nor provides any procedure for the appointment of same. The Bill does not mention about silent on the breastfeeding for the surrogate child.

These are not the exhaustive critic of the Bill but there are many other limitations as well. However these are some of the pressing concerns which remain unaddressed or ambiguous. These limitations in the Bill fail to protect the rights , interests of the parties to the surrogacy arrangements and also causes the surrogacy arrangements to run in legal glitches.

Other legal regulating instruments on Surrogacy in India :

In addition to the ART Bill there are other legal instruments seeking to regulate surrogacy in India by providing for better conduct of surrogacy arrangements. These instruments suggest critic of the Bill and   also suggest necessary changes, modifications in the ART Bill.

  1. The Law Commission Report [64] :

The Law Commission in its Report No. 228, titled “Need for Legislation to Regulate Assisted Reproductive Technology Clinics As Well As Rights and Obligations of Parties to a Surrogacy” undertook a suo moto study of the ART Bill. The Law Commission observed that the draft Bill prepared by the ICMR is full of lacunae and that the rights of stakeholders namely the  rights of Surrogate child,  rights of Surrogate mothers , rights of Intending Couples are not adequately defined in the Bill ,

The first and foremost recommendation made by law commission is legalizing altruistic surrogacy and not commercial surrogacy. The Commission recommends measures for better protection of rights of surrogate mother , securing full informed consent from surrogate mother, insurance cover, life insurance cover, right to abortion or medical termination of surrogate pregnancy, right to privacy and other health safeguards similarly the commission recommends for financial support for surrogate child,  legitimacy , parentage right to registration of birth certificate of the surrogate child  among others.

It must be noted that there is stark inconsistency between the recommendation of law commission for non commercial or altruistic and the ART Bill providing for commercial surrogacy[65] coupled with this the ART Bill overlooks the other recommendations suggested by the commission. Such oversight may itself be attributed to be another shortcoming as a hasty legislation.

b.The Home Ministry Guidelines [66] :

This  Guidelines has been issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs in order to control the misuse of surrogacy by foreign nationals and for this purpose the Ministry has introduced certain restrictions by redefining the eligibility criteria exclusively for the foreign couples commissioning surrogacy in India by prohibiting foreign homosexuals, single from commissioning surrogacy in India and permitting only such heterosexual married couple with a marriage subsisting for two years or more to commission surrogacy in India. The Punjab HC has upheld the Home Ministry Guidelines as a biding law in the case of a Sudanese national who was denied the permission to commission surrogacy due to his personal status of being unmarried  in compliance with the guidelines[67].

This guidelines have been extensively critiqued for causing discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation[68] and also arbitrarily depriving the reproductive or procreative freedom decision making , autonomy of  the individuals by denying them the freedom of availing mean to attainment of parenthood as guaranteed by the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), Cairo 1994.[69]

Classification of legal jurisdictions on Surrogacy at international level :

At International level surrogacy is a transnational or overseas arrangement not restricted within the geographical limits of one nation but cuts across the territorial limits of two or more nations by  involving  the nationals or residents or domicile of two or more countries and thereby causes interface among the surrogacy laws of differing jurisdictions  and  throws up many legally vexing issues.

Around the world laws or regulations on surrogacy is being enacted or developed or formulated. These legislation differ markedly on certain significant aspect firstly on the legally permissible form of surrogacy either altruistic or commercial involving monetary payment or otherwise.  These laws may be broadly classified into three groups Prohibitory, Permissive and Regulatory legal jurisdictions on surrogacy. Prohibitory legal jurisdictions constitutes of those nations namely France[70], Germany[71], Italy[72], Japan[73] and other European nations which strictly prohibit surrogacy in all form either or commercial or altruistic.  Secondly , The Permissive legal jurisdictions on surrogacy refers to those nations which permit surrogacy in both forms commercial and altruistic  as well as largely facilitate transnational or overseas surrogacy and have liberal ,this is chiefly characterized by nations as India[74], Thailand[75], Ukraine[76] , for instance Ukraine permits commercial , overseas surrogacy , sex selective surrogacy , surrogacy for all including homosexual groups designer children by allowing choice of gamete donors based on their biological genetic make up of the donors.

Thirdly, Regulatory legal jurisdictions on surrogacy provide for conduct of surrogacy subject to certain regulations and safeguards provided by the Government. For instance California[77], Israel[78] lay down necessary regulatory measures or pre conditions to be complied while commissioning surrogacy followed with greater of Government supervision and control on the same.  In addition to these nations, there are nations which permit only altruistic surrogacy as legal and strictly punish or penalize commercial surrogacy. For instance, New South Wales Australia [79], certain states of USA namely New York[80], UK HEFA[81].

In addition to these , there are other crucial differences among the surrogacy laws in terms of  the enforceability of surrogacy agreement as enforceable or unenforceable , legal definition and recognition of motherhood, the manner of determination of parentage. A comparison may be made of the surrogacy laws of India, UK for  signifying these differences. For instance, UK under HEFA Act vests the legal mother status with the surrogate mother [82]where as India under ART Bill seeks to vest it with the Commissioning mother[83]. All surrogacy agreements are void and unenforceable in UK under the HEFA Act[84]where as surrogacy agreements are held enforceable and binding in India under the Bill[85]. Hence there are manifestly differing,  inconsistent laws on surrogacy under different legal jurisdictions all over the world.

Inconsistent surrogacy laws & legal Issues in transnational surrogacy-  Plight of surrogate child :

These differences have led to host of legal issues which are brought forth in transnational surrogacy cases. This given rise to conflict in the laws of two nations on the ground of determination and vesting of legal motherhood as evinced in the case of Baby Manaji[86].

The surrogate child born of overseas surrogacy arrangements involving nationals of different  foreign countries face a host of legal hardships  particularly in terms of recognition of legitimacy of birth and guarantee of  legal, civil ,political  rights.  This is primarily due to the inconsistencies or differences in the surrogacy laws under different legal jurisdictions. It must be noted that Surrogate child is the primary stakeholder in the process of surrogacy arrangement invariably in all jurisdiction yet such surrogate child faces gross serious violation of basic human, legal rights.

The ART Bill also provides for safeguards and civil , political rights for the surrogate child under relevant provisions yet the surrogate child born in India  given birth by the Indian surrogate mother for foreign intending couples have faced worst legal crisis where these surrogate children  are left  stateless  parentless babies as demonstrated in the case of Baby Manaji Yamanda[87] and Jan Balaz[88].

It may be pertinent to mention a few of these typical transnational surrogacy cases wherein some of the basic human rights or individual rights namely right to life, liberty, survival , parentage , family and  civil political rights namely right to nationality which constitute legal personhood, the basic right to life which are guaranteed to every individual including child under the Indian constitution under directive principles of state policy[89], the international human right treaty namely the UN child right convention ( UNCRC)[90] also under India ‘s commitment to child right following the acceding of the UNCRC[91] and enactment of Child Commissions Act ( NCPCR) are denied to the surrogate child.

In certain transnational surrogacy cases, the surrogate child is denied of the birth certificate, birth registration following non recognition and non enforcement of legal documents related to surrogacy arrangements in another legal jurisdiction due to these inter country legal differences.  This strikes at the identity of surrogate child and legal entitlements. A case on this point is Jan Balaz[92]where surrogate child was born to a German Intending couple given birth by an Indian surrogate mother in Gujarat, the surrogate child faced complications in the issue of birth certificate , naming of legal parentage as the civic body registered the name of surrogate mother as legal mother excluding the naming of intending mother along with the intending German father as the legal father, this prima facie challenges the basic birth registration, parentage of the surrogate child.

In all those legal jurisdictions where surrogacy is prohibited the surrogate child is  non existent, the surrogate child is  neither recognized as legitimate nor granted civil political or any other legal rights and the surrogate child.  These are seen in a series of cases namely the case of Baby Manaji[93]  where Japan under its civil code imposed absolute  prohibition on surrogacy thus refused to grant any legal recognition to surrogate motherhood, also in  Jan Balaz[94] , Germany under its statute imposes strict prohibition on commissioning surrogacy and even makes it a criminal offense. Similarly in Volden case[95] a surrogate child was born to a single Norwegian female national who was denied as Norwegian citizenship as the latter prohibits surrogacy, this case like its predecessor cases faced the issue of conflicting and inconsistent surrogacy laws of these two nations respectively.

Besides these cases, there are other cases of rejection and abandonment of the surrogate child by the intending couples. In Moulik case[96] , one of the intending parent i.e the intending mother refused to acknowledge or accept the custody of girl surrogate child born in Gujarat India due to her divorce from the intending father during the course of surrogate pregnancy this resulted in deprivation of right to family , right to custody care of mother, parentage for the surrogate child. Another such case is of  an Australian intending couple who after commissioning surrogacy in India rejected the custody of surrogate child on the ground of the female sex of the child and left the child in India.[97] These cases show glaring violation or breach of right to life[98], survival[99] ,  parentage[100],  identity or name [101]nationality [102]of surrogate child and also express  violation of right to know and cared for by parents guaranteed under UNCRC.[103]

Thus it may be inferred that present conduct and practice of surrogacy arrangements is inconsistent with the basic mandate of UNCRC International convention.

In keeping with the best interest of child certain progressive judicial interpretations must be reiterated. In Re, L A Minor [104] , In Re S ,Parental Order [105] the UK court  held that the welfare of the child was the paramount consideration and held that  the best interest of child alone should govern the surrogacy arrangements  and on this ground the court issued parental order despite the breach of relevant provisions of the HEFA Act. Thus these judgments set a precedent  in implementation of UNCRC mandate in surrogacy arrangements and implementing the protection, promotion of the  best interest of child.

Jurisdictional Forum for inter country surrogacy dispute resolution at international level:

In addition to these there are two cardinal issues arising out of such inconsistent, conflicting surrogacy laws that are unaddressed in the ART Bill as well as in other legal instruments , firstly there is no specified universally recognized judicially  forum for redressing grievances related to transnational or overseas surrogacy arrangements involving parties of two or more different nationalities thus the issue of jurisdiction of court remains a question mark! It remains an open question as to which national court should ideally have the jurisdiction to take cognizance of such surrogacy dispute. With all the possibilities, the suit could lie in the country court of the surrogate mother who delivered the child, the commissioning or genetic mother or the commissioning or the intending father. Another corresponding issue is the application  or choice of laws in case of international surrogacy arrangement , considering non uniformity of laws , it is not defined as to the law of which respective nation would apply in case of such dispute which could overlap among the laws of two or more possible jurisdictions based on the respective nationality of the stakeholders or parties to surrogacy arrangements creating another legal deadlock.

Thus the issue of  jurisdiction , application or choice of law is a complex issue to be determined. The present ART Bill provides for transnational surrogacy but neither addresses the incidental  issue of  jurisdiction nor the issue of choice of laws.

Need for Private International Law :

A guide to these unresolved issue lies in the applicability of “Private International law”. Private International law or Conflict of laws is a set of procedural rules which determine which legal system, and the law of which jurisdiction, applies to a given dispute. The rules typically apply when a legal dispute has a “foreign” element such as a contract agreed by parties located in different countries,”[106]  Considering the nature of this law, Surrogacy seems to be the most rightful case which has all the above mentioned elements. Beginning with the foreign element, as parties to the surrogacy arrangement are from foreign countries and are from different jurisdictions this condition is fully met. In absence of uniform laws, the choice of law is answered with the uniform application of Private International Law and also this provides the much needed remedy for the enforceability of the judgment among the different national jurisdictions leading to harmonious interpretation of Surrogacy law across the world based on the application  of  private international law a multilateral  international instrument may be proposed by entering into a agreement or by enacting a treaty law on the same.

Hague Model of Private International Law :

In light of the above concerns, the Hague Conference on Private International Law’s Council on General Affairs and Policy[107]  invited its Permanent Bureau to work on range of issues arising from international surrogacy arrangements particularly on securing legitimacy and right to parentage and nationality to children born of international surrogacy arrangement. The primary mandate of the Permanent Bureau is to construe comprehensive international and multinational agreement providing for uniform rules on the jurisdiction of courts applicable law governing the surrogacy arrangement and to the establishment of legal parentage within such legal regime[108] .The Permanent Bureau of the Hague conference on Private International law initiated a project titled as “the private international law issues surrounding the status of children, including issues arising from international surrogacy arrangements” during the period of year 2011-2014.  During the course of  this project the Permanent Bureau had submitted a preliminary report on the issues arising in relation to international surrogacy arrangements in year 2012 and the bureau is presently currently during this year working towards a multilateral international instrument and submission of final report in the coming year 2015.

Conclusion :

In the light of the inconsistent surrogacy laws at the international level and the legal issues arising out of the same there is a dire need to regulate the same by seeking / construing a uniform binding international legal arrangement which may receive legal recognition under different legal jurisdiction / all over .It may be worthwhile to  suggest  securing the active participation of nations through initiating dialogue, building a consensus of practice , making a study of the surrogacy laws of different nations after considering the surrogacy laws , regulations or bills of different nations , the universally established legal principles , civil  laws , public policy. In building such an approach, the primary and paramount consideration should be given to protection of the interest of surrogate children including their right to parentage , nationality and other basic legal rights of surrogate child within the framework in order to put an end to the state of stateless or parentless surrogate child which is the gross and grave violation of right of child and taking after the mandate of  UNCRC most of the nations are committed to the protection of child rights. Besides addressing other concerns related to surrogacy as recognition of surrogacy agreement , safeguards for the surrogate mothers among a host of incidental or ancillary issues.



End note :

The legal battle is not yet over till we have a constructed a robust legal framework with effect in force addressing the above mentioned, an early enactment of ART Bill after addressing the issues motioned above may prove to be a meaningful recourse to regulation of surrogacy and protection of interest of the utmost vulnerable party namely the surrogate child under the provisions of ART Bill.

[1] BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY 1582 (9th ed. 2009).

[2] The Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Regulation) Bill – 2010 (Draft), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Govt. Of India, New Delhi & Indian Council of Medical Research New Delhi, available at (Last visited May. 15, 2014) [hereinafter ART Bill 2010].

[3] Ibid, § 2 (aa).

[4]Union Minister of Law and Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India , Need for Legislation to regulate Assisted Reproductive Technology Clinics as well as Rights and Obligations of Parties to a Surrogacy, Report No. 228, AUGUST 2009, available at (Last visited   July 28, 2014).


[6] Baby Manaji Yamanda. Union of India, (2008) 13 S.C.C. 518 , ¶ 9.

[7] Bryn Williams-Jones, Commercial Surrogacy and the Redefinition of Motherhood , Journal of Philosophy  Science and Law , Volume 2,  February 2002,  available at  (last visited August 28, 2014).

[8]UK Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 2008, (2008 c. 22), § 27(1), available at (Last visited August. 25, 2014).

[9] Ibid.

[10] Parliamentary Counsel’s Office New South Wales ,  NSW Surrogacy Act 2010,  No 102 of 2010 ,  ( 7 June 2011 )

 Available  at (Last visited August. 25, 2014).

[11]  Ibid, Section 5.

[12] New Life Ukraine , FAQ Surrogacy, available at visited August. 25, 2014).

[13]Supra Note at 7.

[14] Japaneese Civil  Code, (Japanese: 民法 Minpō) ,  Government of Japan, translated by Ministry of Justice, Government of Japan, Act No. 89 of April 27, 1896, available at visited Feb. 15, 2014).

[15] J L N & 2 others v Director of Children Services & 4 others [2014], PETITION NO. 78 OF 2014, available at visited August. 25, 2014).

[16] JOHN CHIGITI, Judge makes groundbreaking ruling on surrogacy, the Star , July 9, 2014 available at (Last visited August. 25, 2014).

[17]Illions Gestational Surrogacy Act 2004, (750 ILCS 47/1) available at (Last visited August 30th , 2014).

[18]109 N.J. 196, 537 A. 2d (1987).

[19] 851 P. 2d 776 (Cal. 1993).

[20] Supra Note at 18.

[21]Cara Luckey, COMMERCIAL SURROGACY: IS REGULATION NECESSARY TO MANAGE THE INDUSTRY?, WISCONSIN JOURNAL OF LAW, GENDER & SOCIETY [Vol. 26:2, 2/8/2012 3:02 PM, available at visited August. 25, 2014).

[22] kuttuajeesh, Surrogacy, studymode , May 2013, available at visited August. 25, 2014).

[23]Amrit Dhillo, Mothers for hire, WA Today, September 7, 2012 , available at visited April 25 , 2014).

[24]Inside India’s surrogacy industry, Divya Gupta, Guardian Weekly, Tuesday 6 December 2011

available at visited August. 25, 2014).

[25] Supra Note at 5, at pg no.11 .

[26] NILANJANA S. ROY, THE FEMALE FACTOR, Protecting the Rights of Surrogate Mothers in India , nytimes, October 4, 2011 available at (Last visited August. 25, 2014).

[27] Mohamed Taki , Medical Tourism in India Touches New Heights,– Medical Tourism , October 11th, 2012, Medical Research Editor and Travel Expert, available at  (Last visited August. 25, 2014).

[28] Kevin Voigt, Mallika Kapur and Lonzo Cook, Wombs for rent: India’s surrogate mother boomtown, CNN, November 4, 2013, available at visited August. 25, 2014).

[29] Supra Note at 7.

[30] Ibid, ¶ 5.

[31]Ibid, ¶ 9.

[32] Ibid.

[33]AIR 2010 Guj 21.

[34] Ibid, ¶ 14.

[35] ICMR National Guidelines for Accreditation, Supervision & Regulation of ART Clinics in India, 2005, available at (Last visited Feb. 15, 2014).

[36] Indian Council of Medical Research. The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill– 2008(Draft) Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, available at (Last visited Feb. 15, 2014).

[37] Supra Note at 3.

[38] Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulations) Bill 2013, , (Tentative Draft) Date Jun. 27, 2013, Legislative Department, Ministry of Law & Justice, Government of India. see also, Kounteya Sinha, Bill Aims To Weed Out Rent-A-Womb Clinics, TNN, Jul. 13, 2012, available at (last visited Feb. 11, 2014).

[39] Supra Note at 3, Preamble.

[40] Supra Note at 3, Statement of Objective & Reasons.

[41]Supra note 3 at §  34 (3).

[42] Supra note 3 at §34 (9) .

[43] Supra note 3 at § 26 ( 6).

[44] Supra note 3 at §34 (19).

[45] Supra note 3 at  §2 (aa) .

[46] Supra note 3 at § 2 (bb).

[47] Supra note 3 at § 2(x).

[48] Supra note 3 at § 34.

[49] Supra note 3 at §32 (1).

[50] Supra note 3 at § 20 (14).

[51] Supra note 3 at §20 (10).

[52] Supra note 3  at § §  3 , 6.

[53] Supra note 3 at §  2 (d).

[54] Supra note 3 at § 2 (a).

[55] Supra note 3 at § 2 (cc).

[56] Supra note 3 at §  34 (1).

[57] Supra note 3 at § 34 (10).

[58] Supra note 3 at § 34 (19).

[59] Supra note 3 at §37 (1) (2).

[60] Supra note 3 at § 34 (2).

[61] Supra note at 42.

[62] Supra note 3 at § 23 (5).

[63] Ibid.

[64] Supra Note at 5.

[65]Supra Note 3 at § 34 (3).

[66] Government of India , Ministry Of Home Affairs , (Foreign Division) , New Delhi , Home Ministry Guidelines regarding conditions for grant of VISA to foreign nationals intending to visit India for commissioning surrogacy , issued on 9th July 2012, No. 25022/74/2011/F-1, 14th October 2013 , available at,%202013.pdf (last visited April 25 , 2014).

[67] TNN , Punjab and Haryana high court upholds curbs on surrogacy in India by unmarried foreigners

| Apr 24, 2014, available at visited April 25 , 2014).

[68]Vidya Krishnan, India’s draft surrogacy Bill bars homosexuals, live-in couples,livemint,  Aug 07 2013,
available at (last visited April 25 , 2014).

[69] INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT , Cairo, 5-13 September 1994 , UNITED NATIONS Distr. GENERAL A/CONF.171/13, 18 October 1994, available at (last visited April 25 , 2014).

[70]Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, The Civil Code of Quebec , French Civil Code 1994. January 1, 1994, available at visited December 5, 2014).

[71] Centre for German Legal Information , Germany Federal Embryo Protection Law 1990 , available at visited December 5, 2014).

[72] PARLIAMENT ITALIAN, Italy Medically Assisted Procreation Act 2004 , Act. No 40, Feb. 19, 2004, available at visited December 5, 2014).

[73] Supra note at 15 .

[74] Supra Note at 3.

[75] Associated Press Bangkok, Thailand’s Parliament approves Bill banning commercial surrogacy, The Guardian , 28 November , 2014, available at, (last visited April 25 , 2014).

[76] Supra Note at 12.

[77] California Assembly Bill 1217, January 1, 2013, Richard Vaughn, California Acts to Protect Surrogates, Families , Family LawIFLG September 5th, 2012, available at . (last visited April 25 , 2014).

[78]Israel Embryo Carrying Agreements (Authorization Agreement and Status of the Newborn Child)  Act 1996,  Abraham Benshushan and Joseph G.Schenker, Legitimizing surrogacy in Israel , Human Reproduction vol.12 no.8 pp.1832–1834, 1997,  available at visited December 1, 2014).

[79] Supra Note at 11.

[80]New York NY CLS Domestic Article 8 -Surrogate Parenting Contracts Relations Act (2007).

[81] Supra Note at 9.

[82] Ibid at §33.

[83] Supra Note at 58.

[84] Supra note at 9, § 54(7) (6).

[85] Supra Note at 57.

[86] Supra note at 7.

[87] Supra Note at 7.

[88] Supra note at 34.


[89]V.N. SHUKLA, CONSTITUTION OF INDIA 131 (M.P.Singh ed., 2008),  art. 39(f) , Art. 45.


[90] Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN General Assembly resolution 44/25 , 20 November 1989

( 2 September 1990) , available at visited December 5, 2014).


[91]UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 , General Assembly resolution  no. 44/25 of 20 , 2

September 1990 , available at visited December 5, 2014). See also , United Nations,  Treaty Series , vol. 1577, p. 3; depositary notifications C.N.147.1993.TREATIES-5 of 15 May 1993 India Accession  as on 11 Dec 1992 , available at visited December 5, 2014).


[92] Supra note at 34.


[93] Supra note at 7.


[94] Supra Note at 34.


[95] Sumitra Deb Roy , Stateless twins live in limbo

TNN | Feb 2, 2011, available at visited December 1, 2014).


[96] Yatish Yadav and Kanu Sarda, Separated by Birth and Visa Laws, Brother and Sister Languish On Opposite Shores Feb 23, 2014, The New Indian Express, available at visited December 1, 2014).


[97] DIANA BRYANT, Aussie couple reject Indian surrogate girl child, AP  Canberra, October 09, 2014  available at  (last visited December 1, 2014).


[98] Supra Note at 91, art. 6.


[99] Ibid, art.6 (2).


[100] Ibid art 7, art 8.


[101] Ibid art 7, art 8.


[102] Ibid art 7.


[103] Ibid art 7.

[104] [2010] EWHC 3146 (Fam).


[105] EWHC 2977(Fam), [2010] 1 FLR 1156.

[106]  Wikipedia, Conflict of laws. available at  , ( Last visited September 10, 2014).


[107] Hague Conference on Private international Law, STATUTE OF THE HAGUE CONFERENCE ON PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW, HCCH , 15 July 1955 available at ( Last visited September 10, 2014).


[108] Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE, The Hague Convention on Surrogacy: Should we agree to disagree? ABA Section of Family Law 2012 Fall CLE Conference, Philadelphia, Dawson Cornwell, London, United Kingdom, October 2012, ( Last visited September 10, 2014).




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