The principle purpose of India’s Surrogacy Regulation Bill (recently passed in the Lok Sabha) will be to end foreign couples’ and wealthy Indians’ access to the services of surrogate mothers. But while the laaw will certainly rob low-income women of a source of livelihood, it is also an attempt by the Government of India to legislate away the rights of gay citizens and put an end to LGBT families, according to one Indian website, The Swaddle.
Under the surrogacy bill, surrogacy is possible only for couples who have been legally married for five years. But in a country where gay marriage is not possible, and adoption is not recognized for LGBT couples, such legislation is effectively a ban on gay families with children.
According to the article, this is in line with the Indian Government’s history of denying LGBT people their rights. In 2012, the government passed a visa policy banning gay foreigners and single people from hiring a surrogate from India; only a man and a woman married for more than two years could do it, Times of India reported.
For Indian citizens, things are no different, reports the Swaddle. The Government has not done much for LGBT Indians beyond decriminalizing gay sex 2018. Gay people are not accorded the same rights that heterosexual Indians enjoy — such as the right to marry or the right to adopt a baby. Now, LGBT folks, single or otherwise, won’t be able to enlist the help of a surrogate to bring a child into their home.
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