Why were the surrogacy rules modified? | Explained

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What does the new amendment to the Surrogacy (Regulation) Rules, 2022 stipulate? Why were the modifications deemed necessary by the Supreme Court? Can single unmarried women also avail of the same relief?

The story so far: The Union government on February 21 modified the Surrogacy (Regulation) Rules, 2022, to permit married couples to use donor eggs or donor sperm for surrogacy — a move that provided a big relief to those with medical complications. This revoked a previous amendment made in March 2023 that banned the use of such donor gametes. The modification in the surrogacy rules came more than a month after Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati apprised the Supreme Court that the government was considering changes in the amendment to allow married couples to use donor gametes for surrogacy in case they suffered from medical ailments that made it difficult to conceive.

On March 14, 2023, Form 2 (Consent of the Surrogate Mother and Agreement for Surrogacy) of the Surrogacy Rules read with Rule 7 was amended to stipulate that donor eggs could not be used for gestational surrogacy of an intending couple. This has now been amended by a notification of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare allowing married couples to use a donor gamete on the condition that a District Magistrate Board certifies that either the husband or the wife suffers from a medical condition.