India, which has been a popular destination for gay would-be parents seeking surrogacy services, will be so no more, with new regulations barring foreign same-sex couples and single people from entering into surrogacy arrangements there.
The new rules, posted on the Indian Home Ministry’s website, “say foreign couples seeking to enter into a surrogacy arrangement in India must be a ‘man and woman [who] are duly married and the marriage should be sustained at least two years,’” Agence France-Presse reports. Some proponents of the move said they were concerned about exploitation of impoverished young Indian women by affluent foreigners. India legalized commercial surrogacy in 2002.
Several fertility specialists and activists, meanwhile, decried the new regulations. “This is a huge heartbreak for homosexual couples and singles,” fertility doctor Anoop Gupta told AFP. Gay rights advocate Nitin Karani added, “It’s totally unfair — not only for gay people but for people who are not married who may have been living together for years, and for singles.”
Hari Ramasubramanian, a lawyer who deals with surrogacy, said the rules should be challenged in court. “A lot of people who will be affected had seen India as a wonderful option for getting into parenthood and now this option is closed,” he said. It’s quite sad.”