What Do New Changes In Indian Surrogacy Laws Mean For Singles & Couples

In a big development to India's surrogacy laws, the Central government has allowed couples (heterosexual, married) intending to be parents to use donor gametes if one of them has a medical condition.

Tanya Savkoor
New Update
new surrogacy laws in india

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In a big development to the surrogacy laws of India, the Central government has made amends to allow divorced or widowed women (singles) to avail of surrogacy procedures using donor sperm and their own eggs. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has amended the Surrogacy (Regulation) Rules, 2022, to also certify that under certain conditions, couples (married male and female) can opt for gametes (eggs or sperm) from a donor in case one of them is suffering from a medical condition, a report in the Press Trust of India reported. The report added that the District Medical Board has to certify that the husband or wife is suffering from a condition.


The Centre's notification also stated that in couples, surrogacy using donor gamete is allowed only if "the child to be born through surrogacy must have at least one gamete from the intending couple.". This means that a couple cannot opt for surrogacy if both partners have medical problems or are unable to have their own gametes. 

Amendments To Surrogacy Laws

On February 21, the Health Ministry released a notification that stated, "In case when the District Medical Board certifies that either the husband or wife constituting the intending couple suffers from a medical condition necessitating the use of donor gamete, then surrogacy using donor gamete is allowed."

The Centre amended the earlier surrogacy rules, which imposed a ban on indenting couples from undergoing surrogacy using donor gametes. Rule 7 initiated on March 14, 2023, stated that both gametes must come from the intended couple. In December of that year, a Supreme Court bench observed, "The very purpose of surrogacy would get defeated by such rules."

The Supreme Court of India allowed a woman with a rare congenital disorder to avail donor eggs for surrogacy last year, after which several more pleas poured in. In October, the Delhi High Court observed that the Centre’s notification banning donor gametes in surrogacy prima facie violates the “basic rights” of a married infertile couple to parenthood by “denying them access to legally and medically regulated procedures and services," according to Indian Express.

The new amendment to the surrogacy law welcomes hope for single women and heterosexual married couples intending to be parents. Meanwhile, the surrogacy rule that denies unmarried women the right to have surrogate children, was also challenged in the apex court. However, the top court dismissed this plea, saying it could violate the institution of marriage.

Single Women Married Couples Surrogacy Laws