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Supreme Court verdict on surrogacy

Sunday, November 27th, 2016
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Infertile Nepali couples now have a reason to cheer as the Supreme Court (SC) this week paved the way for surrogate pregnancies.

Married Nepali couples unable to have children can now practice altruistic surrogacy in the country once laws governing it are formulated, the Supreme Court ruled.

The couples seeking surrogacy will need to have proven medical records of infertility while the surrogate mothers should be married with at least one child and take their husband’s consent for it. A surrogate mother is not allowed to deliver babies more than once.

Delivering its final verdict on the writ petition filed to ban commercial surrogacy in Nepal, the SC came up with an option of altruistic surrogacy, and completely banning commercial surrogacy in Nepal.

One of the writ petitioners Advocate Prabin Pandhak says: “We need to have proper guidelines even to allow altruistic surrogacy. There might be legal complications there are no laws to follow up.”

She adds that the future of altruistic surrogacy will also be dark if the Ministry of Health and Population doesn’t come up with strict laws. The government had allowed foreign couples to seek commercial surrogacy in Nepal in 2014, but legal loopholes led to its ban.

Nepal emerged as a hub for commercial surrogacy after India prevented gay men and couples who had been married for less than two years from opting for surrogacy in 2013. The country is now preparing to ban commercial surrogacy for all foreign couples.

Shreejana Shrestha

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