Government given time to bend adoption law for German couple

March 17th, 2010 - 9:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday gave the Union government four more weeks to see if the country’s adoption laws can be relaxed just once to help a German couple adopt its twins born to an Indian surrogate mother.
A bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly gave the government more time as it failed to submit an affidavit stating its stand on the issue.

German national John Balaz and his wife had pleaded that they were willing to adopt the twins in India itself as birth through a surrogate mother was illegal in their country. To this, government counsel indicated willingness to consider relaxing the country’s adoption norms for the German couple.

The government counsel told the court the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) under the Union Ministry for Women and Child Welfare may consider relaxing the norms if this was not made a precedent.

The court had then asked the government to examine the feasibility of relaxing the norms and express its willingness to do so in an affidavit by March 16. As CARA failed to file its response, the bench gave it four more weeks to take a decision.

Existing rules allow adoption of only the children abandoned by their biological parents and not the ones born through surrogacy, counsel had said and pointed out there was no law for inter-country adoption of children born to a surrogate mother.

The bench was hearing a suit the Union government filed against the Gujarat High Court order that the central government grant Indian passports to the twins born in February 2008 to Martha Immanual Khristy.

The German couple claimed issuing Indian passports would facilitate the twins’ entry into Germany. On its plea, the Gujarat High Court on November 11 asked the Union government to give the twins passports.

The high court ruled that since the twins were born to a surrogate Indian mother, they were entitled to the country’s citizenship and passport.

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