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Swati Gola publishes an article on the proposed Indian legislation on surrogacy.

The article is entitled, ‘One step forward or one step back? Autonomy, agency and surrogates in the Indian Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2019’, International Journal of Law in Context, 1-17. doi:10.1017/S174455232100001X.

Following the criticism that India was becoming a global baby factory, the Indian government has proposed legislation to regulate surrogacy, including the medical intermediaries as well as the contract between the intending parents and the surrogate mother-to-be. This paper examines the extent to which the proposed law responds to the legal challenges and socio-ethical concerns that surfaced in the course of unregulated transnational commercial-surrogacy arrangements in India.

It argues that, while addressing the legal and ethical concerns such as informed consent and legal parentage, the Bill stops short of ensuring the welfare and well-being of the surrogate. Furthermore, the Bill overlooks the sociocultural realities of patriarchal hierarchies entrenched in Indian society. Therefore, in its conception of ‘family’, its focus on the ‘traditional’ family not only presents a narrow view of the heteronormative family and perpetuates the patriarchal notions of gender roles, but also fails to take into consideration maternal pluralism in surrogacy arrangements, undermines the modern family and, above all, discriminates against the single person's and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities’ right to found a family.

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