Rajya Sabha continued discussions on the Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2019. Members highlighted various issues such as clarity needed in the definition of a close relative, the inadequacy of insurance coverage to surrogate mothers, and the 5-year waiting period for married couples seeking surrogacy as an option. The criteria that only married women can choose to become a surrogate mother was also pointed out.
Few members also questioned whether the Bill to regulate ART or Assisted Reproductive Technology should have been passed before this bill. Surrogacy is a type of assisted reproduction.
For a full take on the Surrogacy Bill, refer to our issues for consideration.
Rajya Sabha also took up the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019. Members raised the issue of self-identification in the current version of the Bill. The Bill states that a person will be recognised as ‘transgender’ on the basis of a Certificate of Identity issued by a District Magistrate. Such a Certificate will be proof of identity as ‘transgender’ and confer rights under the Bill. However, the Bill also states that a person who is recognised as ‘transgender’ shall have the right to ‘self-perceived’ gender identity. Given that there is a requirement of a Certificate of Identity under the Bill, it is unclear what the term ‘self-perceived’ gender identity entails and how it will be enforced.
For a full take on the Transgender Bill, refer to our issues for consideration.
The Lower House passed the Chit Funds Amendments Bill, 2019. The Bill raises the maximum amount of chit funds that may be collected and provides a higher commission for the person managing the Fund.