Give passports to surrogate Indian mother’s twins: apex court

December 4th, 2009 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday asked the central government to provide necessary travel documents to twins born to a surrogate Indian mother to help the babies acquire a visa and travel to Germany along with their biological parents.
A bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly asked the Indian authorities to provide the travel documents for the German couple’s twins within 48 hours after their biological parents seek these.

The bench also asked the German couple, Jan Balaaz and his wife, to approach their country’s embassy in New Delhi with these travel documents and apply for the visa for the children on this basis. It asked them to come back Dec 15 in case the visa is refused.

The order came on a government lawsuit contesting a Gujarat High Court ruling that the central government should issue passports to the twins. The government opposed the high court ruling, contending that giving a passport to the babies would mean declaring them as Indian citizens. It also contended that the babies born to surrogate Indian mothers but alien biological fathers are not entitled to the country’s passport, which only the Indian citizens can be given.

The bench said it would decide the issue if a baby born to surrogate Indian mother but alien biological father is entitled to Indian passport after Dec 15, if the need arises.

Jan Balaaz and his wife had moved the Gujarat High Court in February 2008 to seek passports for their twins who were born in January 2008 to a surrogate Indian mother in the state. He had initially requested it to ask the municipal authority to issue a birth certificate identifying the surrogate mother as his children’s biological mother.

Later, during the proceedings, he disclosed that he required the document for getting a passport for his children as the civil code in Germany did not recognize a commissioning mother.

He, therefore, required a passport to facilitate the entry of his children to Germany and had no intention to continue with the citizenship.

The couple, which had came to India in December 2006 in search of a surrogate mother, had entered into an agreement with Marthabehn, according to which she lost her right over the child after delivery.

It was further stipulated that the biological parents will have legal obligation to accept the child, who would be governed by laws applicable to biological parents.

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