Surrogacy in India became legal in 2002. Since then India has turned into one of the most sought after medical tourism destinations in the world for surrogacy. The affordable treatment cost, skilled manpower in the hospitals and with the booming multi specialty hospitals and infertility clinics in India are the key factors leading towards attracting more and more infertile couples.
Surrogacy rules in India improved year by year
However, the Ministry of External Affairs, in 2012, imposed greater restrictions in this field through the introduction of new visa regulations. Issue of medical visas (and not general visas) has now become mandatory for all foreigners visiting India for commissioning surrogacy. A letter from the embassy stating that the country recognises surrogacy and the child born thereof will be treated as a biological child of the couple is also required. The treatment can be done only at registered ART (Assisted Reproductive Technique Bill) clinics recognised by the ICMR.29.
Surrogacy as a major source of medical tourism in India
The easy availability of surrogates, the clean medical facilities, the presence of a large English-speaking population and government emphasis on medical tourism have drawn thousands of foreign couples to India ever since surrogacy was legalized in 2002. Today, leading ART clinics in the country oversee anywhere from 100 to 300 surrogate pregnancies every year.
Factors influencing medical tourism in India
There are many other factors which are giving India the credit of being in the top listed country for surrogacy. Factors like proximity, direct air connectivity, and cultural connect help establish India as a preferred destination for medical tourism for patients from the region. For instance, Maldives has recently suggested that medical tourists coming to India for their treatment should be encouraged to travel to Maldives for rejuvenation purposes.