The YWCA of India joined with India Alliance for Child Rights to discuss Surrogacy from a Child Rights perspective. The difference between Commercial surrogacy or a Altruistic surrogacy is the financial gain to the surrogate in the former. The children born through these surrogates are guaranteed the right to dignity, protection from sale or trafficking, registration of his or her birth and to know his or her parents.
However, circumstances change from the time of conception to birth and the following are a few instances where the child is not wanted:
- fallout between gestational mother and parents (who may or may not be genetically related to the child)
- commissioned parents do not want the child anymore
- circumstances of the commissioned parents have changed [death of a partner / divorce / separation]
- disability of the child born
- surrogate mother has twins / triplets and the commissioned parents only want one child
The risks to the children are:
- they get lost in the system,
- their births are not registered,
- they languish in orphanages
- are stateless,
- they do not know who their parents are
- certain cases if the surrogate mother has given birth to twins / triplets, the children are separated, and are either adopted or they cannot be traced.
- The risks are even higher in International surrogacy
The risks do not stop there. Once a child is given to their commissioned parent, there is no follow up, there are no records maintained, so there is no evidence that the child is in safe hands and being cared for well. There is no evidence that the child may have been trafficked or used for various other activities.
What we can do in a country as populous as ours, is stress on the need to adopt children than surrogacy. If surrogacy is favoured, stringent mechanisms need to be put in place and followed, so that the rights of the children born as well as the surrogate mothers are safeguarded.