Commercial and altruistic surrogacy in india: changing patterns of parenthood and kinship

Bhavya Kumar

Surrogacy is defined as an arrangement by which a woman agrees to carry a pregnancy for the commissioning or intended parents. Surrogate arrangements can be of many kinds, however, in this paper we seek to focus on Commercial (gainful) and Altruistic forms. While gainful surrogacy involves an economic transaction in favour of the surrogate mother from the commissioning parents, altruistic is when a woman agrees, for no financial gains, to bear the child for another person. 
This paper would deal with the dynamics of surrogacy in a nation like India, which is deeply rooted in cultural and traditional values. Some of the many questions that come to our mind while studying surrogacy in India; what is the position of a surrogate baby in our society? How viable is it for women to play surrogates? What is the position of surrogates in the structural matrix of values and mores? How does it change patterns of kinship vis-à-vis the relation of commissioning parents and the child, the surrogate and the child, the commissioning parents and the surrogate among others?
We will also throw light on the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016, the changes it brings with itself and their implications. The Bill brings about a paradigm shift in the surrogate industry of the county as India used to be one of the popular sites for ‘renting wombs’.  With only altruistic surrogacy permissible, what does the future have in store for this industry?

Download PDF: