The Supreme Court recently delivered a significant verdict regarding a single woman’s plea for surrogacy rights, shedding light on the importance of marriage in the context of childbearing.
At the heart of the matter is a 44-year-old unmarried woman who approached the court, contesting Section 2(s) of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act. This section prohibits unmarried women from opting for surrogacy, limiting the eligibility to widowed or divorced women aged between 35 to 45 years.
During the proceedings, the justices underscored societal norms, advocating for childbirth within the institution of marriage. They expressed concerns about the welfare of children born outside the bounds of marriage, emphasizing the significance of knowing one’s parents—a departure from Western practices where such norms are more relaxed.
Despite the petitioner’s lawyer arguing against the discriminatory nature of the provisions and proposing marriage as a means to eligibility, the court rejected this suggestion. The justices maintained their stance, emphasizing that the institution of marriage must be protected, and alternatives such as adoption were also suggested.
In light of evolving societal norms and legal challenges, the court agreed to consider the petition alongside other challenges to various aspects of the Surrogacy Act. This decision reflects a recognition of the changing landscape surrounding family structures and reproductive rights.
The verdict brings to the forefront a complex interplay between legal frameworks, societal norms, and individual rights. While the court’s decision may disappoint the petitioner and others in similar circumstances, it underscores the need for a holistic approach to surrogacy regulation that balances individual liberties with broader societal interests, particularly concerning the welfare of children.
As the case progresses, it is likely to spark further debates and discussions on surrogacy laws, reproductive rights, and the evolving dynamics of family structures in contemporary society.
Re-reported from the article originally published in The shethepeople