If this comes to pass, it will be a crippling blow to those individuals who have not been able to afford surrogacy and egg donation in the United States:
Repulsed by commercialisation of surrogacy using reproductive technologies, the Law Commission has proposed a legislation to restrict it to altruistic arrangements and clearly define the rights of commissioning parents, child and the volunteering mother.
It also proposed that surrogacy should be governed by contract among the commissioning parents and the surrogate mother.
The contract should “contain all terms requiring consent of surrogate mother to bear child, agreement of her husband and family, medical procedures of artificial insemination, reimbursement of all reasonable expenses and willingness to hand over the child to the commissioning parents. But such arrangement should not be for commercial purposes,” it said in its latest report to the government.
The Commission said surrogacy involved conflict of various interests and had the inscrutable impact on family, and hence non-intervention of law in the “knotty issue” would not be proper.
No doubt the citizenship dilemma involving twins born to a German couple using an Indian surrogate attracted unwelcome attention to the increasing number of people turning to India for assisted reproductive technologies. I also have to assume that the absence of any real substantive regulations in India created such a feeding frenzy among fertility clinics in India competing for a slice of the huge international market, that ultimately officials in India became concerned and repulsed by the potential exploitation of Indian citizens. Should India prohibit compensated surrogacy, South Africa probably stands to gain the most as they are actively trying to cultivate this market as well.