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Birla Fertility & IVF
Birla Fertility & IVF

Gestational Surrogacy in India: What is it, What to Expect and Laws

  • Published on September 19, 2023
Gestational Surrogacy in India: What is it, What to Expect and Laws

Over the years, surrogacy has received a lot of attention and is now widely seen as a viable option for people or couples who are facing fertility issues and want to have children. Gestational surrogacy in India stands out among the numerous forms of surrogacy as a significant ethical and scientific accomplishment. Also, gestational surrogacy is the only type that is legal and successfully acquired in India. In this article, we will cover in-depth information about gestational surrogacy, including what it comprises, how it differs from other types of surrogacy, any potential risks, the challenging procedure of surrogacy, and the outlook of surrogacy. Before covering significant factors, let’s first understand what gestational surrogacy is–

What is Gestational Surrogacy?

A woman referred to as the gestational carrier or surrogate, carries a pregnancy on behalf of another person or couple, known as the intended parents, through the assisted reproductive technique known as gestational surrogacy. The absence of a genetic link between the surrogate and the child she bears distinguishes gestational surrogacy from conventional surrogacy. The embryo is instead produced through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in gestational surrogacy using the sperm and eggs of the intended parents or selected donors by the intended parents.

This distinction is important because it gets rid of the possible emotional and legal complications that are sometimes connected to traditional surrogacy, in which the surrogate is biologically linked to the child.

Different Types of Surrogacy

Traditional Surrogacy: 

Using one’s own eggs to conceive a baby through traditional surrogacy makes the surrogate the child’s biological mother. Due to the difficulties it brings in terms of parental rights and the emotional attachments between the surrogate and the child, this procedure, which was previously more popular, has fallen out of favour. Also, traditional is not legal in India.

Gestational Surrogacy:

As previously mentioned, gestational surrogacy uses in vitro fertilisation (IVF) to produce embryos from the intended parents’ or donors’ eggs and sperm. This makes legal proceedings easier and lessens emotional entanglements while ensuring that the child has no genetic connection to the surrogate.

Altruistic vs. Commercial Surrogacy:

Commercial and altruistic gestational surrogacy are further classifications for gestational surrogacy. Beyond addressing medical costs, altruistic surrogacy does not involve any financial reward for the gestational carrier. Contrarily, commercial surrogacy entails paying the surrogate a fee in exchange for her services. Globally, there are significant differences in the morality and legality of commercial surrogacy, creating a complicated and frequently contentious environment.

Risks & Considerations in Surrogacy

While going for surrogacy, one should consult an expert for a detailed discussion in order to avoid any risks and complications associated with the process, both legally and mentally. Though there are no major risks associated with the surrogacy process, a few of them are mentioned below:

Physical and Emotional Risks:

Being a gestational carrier for a surrogate has physical and psychological hazards. Health issues related to pregnancy and childbirth can arise, and bearing a child for someone else can have a big emotional impact. It’s critical that both the intended parents and the surrogate are informed of these risks and receive the necessary assistance and counselling.

Legal and Ethical Difficulties:

The legal and ethical ramifications of surrogacy are complex and might differ depending on the jurisdiction. A surrogacy contract must explicitly spell out each party’s obligations in order to prevent future disagreements. Complex ethical issues are also raised by concerns about parental rights, child custody, and the surrogate’s autonomy.

Good Candidate for Gestational Surrogacy in India

Every couple desires for natural birth to start a baby. Pregnancy associates joy, happiness and hope with it. However, it is not always easy for couples who are facing issues with fertility disorder. The expert usually recommends gestational surrogacy in India as one of the successful fertility treatments to have a baby. Couples who experience the following fertility issues can always opt for gestation surrogacy in India:

  • Unexplained structural abnormalities
  • Multiple unsuccessful IVF and IUI cycles
  • Complexities with uterus
  • Single parent
  • Same-sex partners

Procedure of Surrogacy

  • Matching process: The gestational surrogacy procedure starts with the matching phase, which brings intended parents and prospective surrogates together. In this stage, compatibility and understanding between the parties are crucial.
  • Medical Procedures: IVF is the main medical procedure used in gestational surrogacy. Embryos are produced by fertilising eggs from the intended mother or an egg donor with sperm from the intended father or a sperm donor. The development of the pregnancy follows the subsequent transfer of these embryos to the surrogate’s uterus.
  • Psychological Assessments: Psychological assessments are a crucial part of the surrogacy procedure. To make sure they are emotionally prepared for the journey, both the intending parents and the surrogate go through evaluations.
  • Legal Procedures: A well-written surrogacy contract is necessary to spell out the obligations, rights, and expectations of each party. To establish parental rights, legal procedures may also involve seeking pre- or post-birth adoptions.

Laws & Regulations for Gestational Surrogacy in India

Keep in mind that India has modified its laws and regulations to impose some limitations on unlawful surrogacy, such as prohibiting commercial surrogacy for foreign couples and only permitting gestational surrogacy for Indian citizens. To stop exploitation and safeguard surrogates’ rights and interests, rules and regulations have been changed.  Additionally, gay couples and foreign nationals are not permitted to use surrogates. The laws are subject to change, therefore, it is always advisable to speak with a lawyer to understand the rules and legislation governing gestational surrogacy in India and, if necessary, in any other nation as well.


A significant development in reproductive health, gestational surrogacy gives hope to people and couples struggling with infertility or other issues related to starting a family. But it also has intricate ethical, legal, and psychological implications. All partners must proceed through this path with care and compassion as surrogacy continues to change, guided by an understanding of the procedure, its risks, and the always-changing landscape of surrogacy laws and technologies. More people and couples around the world will be able to realise their dreams of motherhood thanks to surrogacy’s increased accessibility and ethical standards in the future. If you are facing any difficulties regarding fertility and are not able to achieve a pregnancy, then you can consult our specialist today by giving us a call or by filling in the required details in the appointment form to book an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Why would you consider surrogacy to expand your family?

Infertile couples who are unable to conceive typically benefit from surrogacy. In actuality, it is regarded as the ideal choice for couples of the same sex who are incapable of having a kid naturally. You have the choice to expand your family through surrogacy, which also helps you feel complete about it.

  • What factors are included in the surrogacy process in India?

The following are significant factors that are included in the surrogacy process in India:

  • Documentation
  • Finding a suitable surrogate
  • Medical screening
  • Legal agreements
  • Cultured embryo transfer
  • Pregnancy period
  • Delivery
  • Who is the biological mother in gestational surrogacy?

The female who carries the baby is a surrogate and does not have any biological connection with the baby. The biological mother is someone whose egg was fertilised for embryo culture.

  • How does the surrogate mother get pregnant in the gestational surrogacy process?

An embryo is cultured after fertilizing the egg and sperm of the intended parent or samples collected from the chosen donor. Later, the embryo is implanted in the uterus of the surrogate mother until the time of delivery.

  • Is gestational surrogacy legal in India?

Yes. Gestational surrogacy is the only type of surrogacy that is legal in India. Also, to get more clarity on the subject of surrogacy, it is always a better idea to get connected to a lawyer for detailed information.

Written by:
Dr. Anjali Chauhan

Dr. Anjali Chauhan

Dr. Anjali Chauhan is a fertility specialist with over 6 years of experience and has performed more than 100+ IVF cycles. She specializes in laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, and minimally invasive surgeries for complex infertility cases.
Preet Vihar, Delhi

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