Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday took a dig at Bollywood stars Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan for their decision to make use of surrogacy despite having two children each.
Addressing a press conference after the Union Cabinet approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, the minister said she feels “sad” to say that what had started in the name of “necessity” has today become a “fashion”.
She said the Bill comes at a time when India has emerged as a hub of commercial surrogacy for couples seeking children.
Referring to “big celebrities”, though without naming them, Swaraj said they have opted for surrogacy and it has become a trend. She said under the bill, the procedure has been allowed for necessity and not “shauk” (fondness or fashion).
“We have several examples of big celebrities who have their own children, two children — a boy and a girl — still they have gone for a surrogate child,” she said.
Shah Rukh Khan, Amir Khan and Tusshar Kapoor are some of the celebrities to have surrogate children. Kapoor is a single parent.
“Permission (under the bill) is for necessity, not shauk…there is no permission for cases in which the wife does not want to go through labour…you make a poor woman go through labour pain instead,” she said.
The minister made it clear that single parents, live in partners and homosexual couples were not permitted to have surrogate children under the proposed law. She said live in relations and homosexual relations have no legal sanctity.
She said such people, including single parents, can go for adoption.
Swaraj also said that, “Jo cheez zaroorat ke naam pe shuru ki gayi thi woh ab shauk ban gayi hai (What had been started as a need has now become a trend).”
Her statement came on the day the union cabinet cleared a draft bill which aimed to safeguard the rights of surrogate mothers and make parentage of such children legal.
According to the Health Ministry proposal, the draft Surrogacy Bill, 2016 aims at regulating commissioning of surrogacy in the country in a proper manner.
Official sources said the Cabinet gave its green signal to the Bill to be introduced in Parliament.
A Group of Ministers (GoM) had recently cleared the bill and had referred it to the Union Cabinet for a final call.
The GoM was constituted at the behest of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Apart from Health Minister J P Nadda, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal were among those part of the GoM.