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Navigating Surrogacy Agreements: Insights from The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act in India

Surrogacy has emerged as a viable option for individuals or couples facing infertility or medical complications hindering pregnancy. In India, the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act serves as a comprehensive legal framework governing surrogacy arrangements, safeguarding the rights and interests of all parties involved – the intended parents, surrogate, and child. A pivotal aspect of surrogacy is the surrogacy agreement, which outlines the terms, conditions, and obligations of the parties. In this blog, we’ll delve into the meaning, rules, and procedures governing surrogacy agreements in India under The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, elucidated by insights from expert lawyers or advocates specializing in reproductive and family law.

Understanding Surrogacy Agreements:

A surrogacy agreement, also known as a surrogacy contract or arrangement, is a legally binding document that formalizes the surrogacy arrangement between the intended parents and the surrogate mother. It delineates the rights, responsibilities, and expectations of all parties involved in the surrogacy process, ensuring clarity and mutual understanding. Surrogacy agreements typically address various aspects, including compensation, medical care, parental rights, confidentiality, and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Key Rules and Regulations Governing Surrogacy Agreements in India:

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, enacted in 2020, introduced comprehensive regulations governing surrogacy arrangements in India. Some key rules and regulations concerning surrogacy agreements under the Act include:

  1. Eligibility Criteria: The Surrogacy Act prescribes eligibility criteria for intended parents, requiring them to be Indian citizens, married for at least five years, and medically unfit to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term. Single individuals, same-sex couples, and foreign nationals are ineligible for surrogacy in India.
  2. Altruistic Surrogacy: The Surrogacy Act permits only altruistic surrogacy arrangements, wherein the surrogate mother volunteers to carry the child for the intended parents without any monetary compensation beyond medical expenses and insurance coverage. Commercial surrogacy, involving payment or reward to the surrogate, is prohibited.
  3. Legal Recognition of Intended Parents: The Surrogacy Act confers legal parentage on the intended parents, ensuring that they are recognized as the legal guardians of the child born through surrogacy. The surrogate mother relinquishes all parental rights and obligations upon the birth of the child.
  4. Surrogacy Agreement: Surrogacy agreements must be executed in writing and adhere to the prescribed format specified under the Surrogacy Act. The agreement must include provisions related to consent, confidentiality, medical care, compensation, insurance coverage, parental rights, and dispute resolution mechanisms.
  5. Registration and Regulation: Surrogacy arrangements must be registered with the appropriate authority, i.e., the National Surrogacy Board or the State Surrogacy Board, as per the provisions of the Surrogacy Act. The boards are responsible for regulating and overseeing surrogacy arrangements to ensure compliance with the law.

Legal Procedure for Surrogacy Agreements:

The procedure for entering into surrogacy agreements in India involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation with Legal Experts: Intended parents and surrogate mothers should seek legal advice and guidance from expert lawyers specializing in reproductive and family law to understand the legal implications of surrogacy and draft a comprehensive surrogacy agreement.
  2. Drafting of Surrogacy Agreement: The surrogacy agreement is drafted by legal experts in accordance with the provisions of the Surrogacy Act, incorporating the rights, obligations, and responsibilities of the intended parents and surrogate mother, as well as other pertinent clauses.
  3. Review and Signing: The surrogacy agreement is reviewed by all parties involved, i.e., the intended parents and surrogate mother, to ensure mutual understanding and agreement. Upon mutual consent, the agreement is signed by all parties in the presence of witnesses and notarized.
  4. Registration with Surrogacy Board: The surrogacy agreement, along with other requisite documents, is submitted for registration with the National Surrogacy Board or the State Surrogacy Board, as applicable, within the prescribed timeframe.
  5. Compliance and Oversight: The surrogacy arrangement is subject to compliance with the provisions of the Surrogacy Act and oversight by the designated surrogacy boards, which monitor and regulate surrogacy agreements to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders.

Expert Legal Guidance:

Navigating surrogacy agreements requires expert legal guidance and assistance from lawyers or advocates specializing in reproductive and family law. Experienced legal professionals can provide valuable advice, ensure compliance with legal requirements, protect the rights and interests of all parties involved, and facilitate the smooth execution of surrogacy arrangements.


Surrogacy agreements serve as the foundation of surrogacy arrangements, providing a legal framework for the rights and obligations of intended parents and surrogate mothers. By understanding the rules, procedures, and legal implications of surrogacy agreements under The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, individuals or couples seeking to embark on the surrogacy journey can make informed decisions and ensure compliance with legal requirements, fostering a supportive and transparent surrogacy ecosystem in India.