Ministry of Home Affairs declares that appropriate visa category for Intended Parents for traveling to India for surrogacy is medical surrogacy visa.

I have finally heard from the Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners Division) pertaining to RTI Application filed by me dated 10.07.2012 on the surrogacy VISA category. From the reply, I see that the Ministry of Home Affairs had addressed a letter to dated 09.07.2012 bearing File No.25022/74/2011-F-1, laying down the procedure for grant of VISA for foreign nationals, intending to visit India for surrogacy arrangements. Interestingly, the communication has been dated 9th July 2012, just one day prior to the date of my Right to Information Application. However, the notification pertaining to surrogacy has been on the websites of the Indian Embassies for almost six months now.

The following instructions were issued to the Ministry of External Affairs and requested to be circulated to all Indian Missions abroad as per the communication in File No.25022/74/2011-F-1.  It is stated in the reply to RTI Application that the Home Affairs Minister has approved the Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. This is the basis on which the warning about surrogacy arrangements had been published in the websites of the Indian Embassies.

Surrogacy neither allowed or prohibited by Home Ministry

The Ministry of Home Affairs has not issued any guidelines either allowing or prohibiting surrogacy in India.  However, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is the nodal Ministry in this regard.

Medical Surrogacy VISA requirements

The VISA category required for taking up surrogacy arrangement is medical surrogacy VISA.  A medical surrogacy VISA for surrogacy arrangement could be granted on the fulfillment of the following conditions:

a)    The foreign man and woman are duly married and the marriage should have sustained at least for two years.

b)    A letter from the Embassy of the foreign country in India or the Foreign Ministry of the country should be enclosed with the Medical Surrogacy VISA application stating clearly that (a) the country recognizes surrogacy and (b) the child/children to be born to the commissioning couple through the Indian surrogate mother will be permitted entry into their country as a biological child/children of the couple commissioning surrogacy.

c)     The couple will furnish an undertaking that they would take care of the child/children born through surrogacy.

d)    The treatment should be done only at one of the registered ART clinics recognized by ICMR.  (The list of such clinics will be shared with MEA from time to time)

e)    The couple should produce a duly notarized agreement between the applicant couple and the prospective Indian surrogate mother.

If any of the above conditions are not fulfilled, the surrogacy visa application shall be rejected.

Further, before the grant of surrogacy visa, the foreign couple needs to be told that before leaving India for their return journey, ‘Exit’ permission from FRRO/FRO would be required. Before granting ‘exit’, the FRRO/FRO will see whether the foreign couple is carrying a certificate from the ART clinic concerned regarding the fact that the child/children have been duly taken custody of by the foreigner and that the liabilities towards the Indiansurrogate mother have been fully discharged as per the agreement.  A copy of the birth certificate(s) of the surrogate child/children will be retained by the FRRO/FRO along with photocopies of the passport and surrogacy visa of the foreign parents.

However, the couple may visit India on a tourist VISA for executing the agreement on a reconnaissance trip, but no samples may be given to any clinic during such preliminary visit.

MHA-docs Ministry of Home Affairs on indian surrogacy visaCopy of the Notification issued by Ministry of Home Affairs on Surrogacy VISA 

MHA-docs2 MHA-docs3 MHA-docs4

In summary, a commissioning couple seeking to take up surrogacy in India can sign a surrogacy agreementin a tourist VISA, but cannot provide samples to the clinic when they are in a tourist VISA. Further, the medical VISA would be granted only when the surrogacy agreement is submitted as annexure document along with the application. That means that the couple has to travel twice prior to taking up a surrogacy arrangement. Once for meeting with clinics and signing of the surrogacy agreement; and again for providing samples to the clinic. It certainly seems strange.

14 Thoughts on “India clarifies stand on Surrogacy VISA Regulation

  1. Eyvonne Hammonds on January 4, 2013 at 4:09 pm said:

    As a gay couple, we were very excited to start our surrogacy journey next month in India. Now this law has come into effect and we are devastated. We do not know what to do now. What is the chance that this law will be amended to include gay couples?

    • Law amended to include Gay couples, potentially zero chance of it being changed (Although clinics are petitioning against the new rules), it is suggested you investigate other countries instead of India at this stage.

      Vote with your wallet to another country.

  2. We are experiencing precisely the same issue as Eyvonne Hammonds is above. We have already booked travel to India for February with the intention of freezing sperm for implantation in September.

    With this rule requiring that the two people be both male/female and married for two years, we are completely devastated and confused. Is same sex/single person surrogacy no longer allowed in India?!

    • i.know.its.hard on March 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm said:

      To Brian, Eyvonne, etc,,,, this is a business, for everyone involved…. from the guy that picks you up at the airport, to the person at the FFRO office handing you your exit visa…. So think, would you rather loose some money on airline tickets, or spend the next two years in court trying to get custody of your child? In the end, $$$$$ is the root and unites all, so think about what your asking, what about???? Yea, what about???? SO you spent some $$$, better to learn now than learn a year from now. I know it sucks, but that is the truth, be glad your not in this now, RUN and consider the lost of airfare a huge lesson learned~

  3. Federico on January 21, 2013 at 6:39 pm said:

    What will happen to all of us that need to entry in India for bring our babies home? and what about our embryos conceived prior the new regulations? India does not respect the non retroactivity of the law? This is a terrible mess and an international scandal

    • justanotherdad on March 4, 2013 at 1:55 pm said:

      What will happen, you need to ask yourself something else first…. wherever you are from- does your country recognize you as a person, or someone who has rights? Second, I don’t think it matters when or where, if India wants to shut off its supply of surrogates to gays or singles- lets be clear, its gays (that two year rule is a smart move, keeps two gay couples from uniting to make two straight couples… clever on India’s part…)
      Your best bet is to independantly, and quietly find a surrogate mother, it can be done— and go on your way… Or, work with a middle person, who will keep things clean for you, organized, and in the end, help you get your baby and the carrier whatever she desires- making everyone “whole” in the end…. Altruism is not a common trait, your asking not only the surrogate, but the entire process to think this way- and all invovled, I wish it was so, but, you must be clear! Look at some of the headlines in the US, especially in California, there was one attorney who had a fake surrogacy gone wrong ring going- and she was considered top in her field,..

  4. As an IVF father living in US on green card, I was not allowed to take my IVF child born in India back to the US because US Immigration law requires a “mother” for a child born outside the US. As an IVF father using anonymous egg donor and surrogate, I have NO legal mother for my child who could satisfy the US legal requirement. What do you do? Abandon the innocent IVF child in India or live in Exile from the US and raise your innocent IVF child? The point is IVF/surrogacy needs consistent international laws which are gender neutral. IVF presents some unique scenarios to define “parenthood” and the traditional terminologies and laws are inadequate worldwide. Infertility is traumatic enough, to further traumatize a human and an innocent IVF child is not right.

  5. Daddy2be on February 9, 2013 at 3:32 pm said:

    While I feel for those who are I the planning stages, And wish you nothing but success…. The problem- the real problem is what about those of us who are expecting currently, and do not meet the exit requirements?
    This is in no way to discount your current efforts to begin the process in India… But the group of people with the greatest concern are those that are currently expecting a child or children with the help of a surrogate mother in India who entered on a tourist visa and who do not meet the new guidelines I wish I had a number that I could Put a face to this but from what I gather this is around 2000 children that are going to be stranded and what is to come of them they’re not Indian citizens they are citizens of in my case the US so they’re not going to qualify for any Indian services so do I just abandon my child inside of the street wait a minute then I would get arrested? The most logical would be that the new laws if they need to be enacted are enacted however present cervices should be excluded from this category we entered the agreements and subsequent pregnancies legally. India is already overpopulated so adding another couple thousand children to the max who are not citizens and have no right who does that serve how does that serve the best interest I have decided that I’m not going to sit by and wait to see what India decide because historically they take their sweet. Time when trying to make decisions like this so I’m being proactive I have already given interviews with NBC ABC and CBS I am in contact with CNN and I have also written to my Gov.’s senators and the president who is good friends with India so I’m going to make a lot of racket because the squeaky wheel gets the grease and if I have to I’ll do it by myself but we need to band together as a group of people regardless of her nationality and fight this particular rule for those of us expecting I have less than 10 weeks I’m sorry but I’m not concerned about someone who made flight plans to go and start surrogacy contract you have nothing to lose you may have lost You may have lost a couple thousand dollars I am going to lose my child and if you want to talk about money and all the money in this wasn’t my first Attempt Surrogacy Ctr., India screwed me intact US$22,000 and did nothing so in the end Americal from God is going to be punished because of bigotry these are These are wanted children by their intended parents the circuits do not want them the egg donors signed away their rights and they don’t want them either and I doubt any a map skews me I doubt any Indian couple is thinking G I would really like to adopt a biracial child maybe if his biological connection was Seays 6 foot three blonde hair blue eyes and Polish well As it is India has overcrowding in their orphanages so it’s not like there’s space to put these extra people we need to come together strength in numbers I don’t understand why people are being so private and not working with each other it takes a Village it takes all of us together to say no then we will get results but But if we approach on around there are severe risks you’ll you can be banned from the country permanently yo never be able to enter India again to get your child your child will be unknown to you don’t try and do this on your own there’s rumors that if you pay a bribe to let you go through some people are just paying a $30 fine you know what I was that person and had to do that I probably would’ve done it too but For the best outcome possible if we all band together and unite as one group it’s hard to say no to two or 3000 people that it is to say no to one and with that our respective governments that support our endeavor for mine and sends the United States shortly issued a letter that said They may as well just not answer that you ask a specific question like what can I get for assistance while in India with my American child born abroad that you have issued a passport to but then I can’t believe that seems wrong what can what steps can I take with the embassy to see if that doesn’t happen you know what the response was talk That are exiting India that was their response so we’re clearly not getting any assistance from them because I don’t know about other countries but in United States Jays are looked at as second-class citizens when it comes time for needing our tax dollars and our support in elections they will cater to you like you have never been Kitteredge before but let it be a situation where you are affected and the government has to put its neck on the line for On different web boards and we need to find a central website location something where we can all band together and work to help one another it will certainly be hard to say no to a line of say 30 people carrying babies then it is to one person carrying a baby we need to plan for the inevitable assume the worst but hope for the And I understand that you might be nervous too you know joined with an organization are in our group that is trying to fight this but don’t ask for admittance into the group after we’re successful because people that play on the outside of the lines aren’t allowed in after I will go to bat for every single person regardless of where you’re from your sexuality your marital status I don’t care I would do anything to help another person

    • Eyvonne on March 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm said:

      I can respect the fact that you are freaking out, but I have to admit it confuses me.
      Here is why: couples who can provide proof (via their surrogacy contract) that they entered into the agreement before the regulations were enforced by the Menistry can still bring their children home. I know this because we have had 5 friends bring their children home since January.

    • I hear what your saying… it makes sense… The problem “Daddy” is that many people have wanted this for so long, they have blinders on to what they are getting into….
      I know we did. We ignored all the rumors, and ultimately went with an Indian Clinic that had given itself such a reputation, we overlooked the fact that we found no evidence regarding a Nobel Peace prize, our favorite was the invention of IVF and associated procedures…. THe real person who invented this science was at one point jailed for two years and later committed suicide…. he died decades ago, but his ghost seems to be emerging in one clinic, while another he has taken female form….
      Id beware of any agency or clinic that reports you are grandfathered in as it was put earlier, no one is…. In the end, we are all just a bunch of dot’s, who have been reduced to scattering across the planet trying to reproduce in one way or another…. The biggest and most troublesome thought, is that the offspring of these people are caught in the middle of hatred…. Even worse, surrogacy is taking the place of adoption,- I know we would have adopted a child over seeking surrogacy…. India has children available for adoption too…. But, bigotry always prevails, it may wear a different outfit and call itself by another name, such as United Nations, The Hague, HRC, calll it what you want, in the end, there is really nobody watching your back but you!

  6. Daddy2be on February 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm said:

    And remember this is a huge money maker in the Indian society this band is going to affect people on so many levels the tourism level the clinics the hospitals the staffing the taxicabs the hotels bed-and-breakfast says the airport transfers the airline tickets going in all of this is going to decrease so we need to use some leverage and by banding together and pointing up To the leverage that we have and the more pressure we put on our own governments to help us the better we need to do this together this is not a separate fight for each and every person because quite frankly if they allow you out because you happen to get somebody who was nice enough that data let you leave do you not care about the other thousand people better stock?

  7. Daddies2bee on March 4, 2013 at 1:35 pm said:

    just a side comment, but two things, one is really a question…
    What is the purpose of the Indian Surrogacy Law Centre, because without them it appeared surrogacy was moving along just fine, had its snags, but, just fine…
    Second, a comment…. anyone moving forward with any surrogacy should remember, this is someone elses bread and butter so to speak, so— dont be fooled, many involved are no farther a stones throw than the Nigerian Bank Fraud email you just got…

  8. anjipanj on August 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm said:

    My partner & I have been living together for almost 4 years. We are not married! Since we have remaining embryo’s, what will happen? Because we began our journey before the laws changed, does that mean we are exempt from the new laws? Starting to freak out here!

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