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Is Govt Regulating Surrogacy With The Right Spirit And Intentions?

I am a parent, not by blood..
I am a parent, not by circumspect..
I am a parent only because I love..
Love enough to give away my soul..
For someone else’s transcendental smiles 

 

Parenthood is one of the universal strengths of humanity, that defines us in ways that we would probably never fully imagine. But it means different things to different people. For some it’s the known conclusion of the biological chess of X and Y caused by desire or circumstances, and to others it means the beginning of beautiful bonds that may go against the algebra of natural reality - but always stands faithfully by the euphoric feeling called unconditional love.

 

But in whatever direction your ethical pendulums might swing, all would and should agree that parenthood is one gift that  one can’t just be deprived off based on premises of mere identity. A person’s biological, social, sexual or emotional identity doesn't have any bearing on his or her role as a parent - as science today makes it possible for everyone to enjoy and cherish the joys of nurturing new hopes and dreams.

 

But this majoritarian viewpoint of the fact that ‘natural x+y = better parents’ seems to have triumphed over our elected representatives. The surrogacy bill introduced in the Parliament recently by the Modi govt, seeks to control exploitation of deprived women by banning commercial surrogacy, but also has many added riders, which any sane logical human being must question. 

 

Surrogacy is one of the miracles of science that allows individuals and couples to have children, if they are suffering from any medical condition of if they are of the LGBT orientation. It is an accepted practice around the world, but is much misused in our country where at least 29% still live in absolute poverty. With the vast majority of those being women, the need for a proper oversight becomes crucial so as to prevent any form ill-use or exploitation. Thus, one should cheerfully welcome any attempt by the government to bring clarity and rules to what is still a rather unorganized activity.

 

But unfortunately, populist bigotry has tarnished this law once again, rendering it not only quite ineffective but also inhumane in many aspects. The blanket ban on surrogacy on NRIs, PIOs, OCIs, individuals from the LGBT community, single parents, single individuals, couples with biological or adopted children, or couples who are living in, is not just absurd but also absolutely irrational. Instead of putting the focus on the actual issues of illegal surrogacy, the Modi Govt has used this bill in a perverse attempt to regulate the private lives of bonafide citizens of this country, and impose a particular type of moral agenda on others. You can’t ban NRIs from adopting surrogacy just because of a factless and illogical perception that ‘Divorces are quite common in foreign countries’. In fact, the whole act has been set on the perception that surrogacy is some sort of ‘altruistic’ process, when it is actually a scientific process. Yes Surrogacy has its ethical dilemmas as well, the idea that someone should bear someone else’s child for nine months in lieu of some payment seems quite repulsive , but these concerns have more to do with the dynamics between a surrogate mother and the biological parents. A person’s sexual orientation or relationship state has no bearing on that.

 

Yes, surrogacy is an exceptional process and a true act of selfless sacrifice that needs adequate checks and regulation, but it can’t, and shouldn’t be a tool to attach certain groups, that do not conform to the govt’s notion of the ideal family. Yes, the intention may have been right but the whole spirit of the exercise smells of corruption. Thus, there’s an urgent need for the government to review the bill urgently and exclude discriminatory clauses that insult the very nature of parenthood! Why?

 

After all, we all know that becoming a parent is all about trust and responsibility that a mere ‘status ’ can’t qualify.

 

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