Japanese surrogate baby caught in Indian legal tussle

August 6th, 2008 - 1:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Jaipur, Aug 6 (ANI): A Japanese baby, born of an Indian surrogate mother, has been caught in a legal tussle. India’’s laws prohibit the child’’s divorced father from taking custody of her.
Manjhi, the nine-day old baby’’s future is left in uncertainty. Her parents came to India a year ago and had hired the services of a surrogate mother in Ahmedabad, but during the pregnancy, the couple divorced.
Soon after the baby was born, serial bombings took place in Ahmedabad and the baby was shifted to Jaipur, where she is being currently looked after by the Arya Hospital.
The father now wants to take custody of the child, but he had to leave India after his visa expired.
According to doctors at the Arya Hospital, the child is being looked after well. “Doctor Yamada got divorced around mid-June, and after his divorce, he came alone to claim the custody of the child. But, according to the Indian laws, a single father cannot adopt a girl child. This is a major legal hassle arising in this case. But the question is when the child has father’’s 50 per cent DNA, where does the point arise of him having to adopt the child as he is her natural father,” said Sanjay Arya, a doctor at the Arya Hospital.
Even as India is fast emerging as a major destination for surrogate pregnancies, such births are largely unregulated.
The Surrogacy Bill is pending in parliament, but according to governing laws, parents have to adopt their surrogate child and adoption laws make it difficult for single fathers to adopt girls. (ANI)

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