The Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that Germany has refused to grant visa to the twins of a German couple born through a surrogate Indian woman.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium told a Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and Asok Kumar Ganguly that Germany has rejected the plea for visa on the ground that surrogacy is a “punishable offence” under German laws.

However, the country was willing to grant permission to the German couple, John Dalaz and his wife, for adopting the children through inter-country adoptions as provided by the Hague convention.

The Solicitor General said India was agreeable to Germany’s suggestion and was willing to offer temporary citizenship to the twins for facilitating the adoptions.

The German couple Jan Balaz and Susane L’o’hle are seeking Indian citizenship for the children born in February 2008 through a surrogate Indian mother on the plea that the twins otherwise would not be allowed entry into Germany which does not recognise surrogacy.

The couple claim that once the twins are accorded Indian citizenship they would be entitled to passports, thus facilitating their entry into Germany. After the passport authorities turned down their plea, the couple moved the Gujarat High Court.

The High Court had on November 11 directed the Centre to grant citizenship by taking the view that since the twins were born to a surrogate Indian mother they were entitled to the country’s citizenship. Aggrieved, the Centre filed the appeal in the apex court.

The Centre has taken the stand that under the Citizenship Act, 1955, since the commissioning parents were a German couple, the two children cannot be treated as Indian citizens and hence there was no question of granting them passports.

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