Kathmandu, September 18
The government today revoked its earlier decision to allow surrogacy services in the country.
Minister for General Administration Lal Babu Pandit said a Cabinet meeting held at Singha Durbar decided to roll back its earlier decision on September 18 last year that legalised surrogacy to promote ‘health tourism.’
The government had stated that it was specified under the government’s National Health Policy.
Point no. 12.14 of the policy issued by the Ministry of Health and Population last year stated: “Infertility shall be managed through a law relating to surrogacy.” The ministry had also published a notice, stating that hospitals and health institutions with required facilities may apply to the government for permission to provide surrogacy services.
Earlier on August 25, the Supreme Court had issued an interim order to the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers and MoHP, ordering them against allowing surrogacy businesses to run in the country.
A single bench of Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha had issued the order responding to a writ petition filed by two advocates. The petitioners demanded an end to commercial surrogacy, which lured poverty-striken women into carrying babies for wealthy persons.The apex court had ordered the government to either formulate necessary laws regarding surrogacy or to outlaw it altogether.
Surrogacy involves implantation of an embryo created using either the eggs and sperm of the intended parents, a donated egg fertilised with sperm from the intended father or an embryo created using donor eggs and sperm. It is called an agreement of carrying a pregnancy for intended parents.
A version of this article appears in print on August 19, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.