Germany grants visas to surrogate twins

The German government has granted visas to the surrogate twins of a German couple born to an Indian woman to enable them to leave the country, the Centre informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam told a vacation Bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice C.K. Prasad that after the visas were granted, the Centre completed all formalities, so that the couple could return to their country with the babies.

Mr. Justice Singhvi appreciated the efforts made by the Solicitor-General for amicably resolving the issue. He expressed the hope that Parliament would pass an appropriate legislation to clarify the legal position on the citizenship rights of such a surrogate child born to an Indian woman but commissioned by foreign parents. Mr. Subramaniam said he had already written to the Union government, urging to pass an appropriate legislation to avoid a tricky situation like the present one. The Bench then disposed of the matter.

John Balaz and his wife had sought Indian citizenship for the children born, in February 2008, through Martha Immanual Khristy, a surrogate mother, on the ground that the twins would not be allowed entry into Germany, which did not recognise surrogacy. The Centre rejected the couple's plea for grant of citizenship to the children, saying there was no provision in the statute to provide citizenship rights to children born of a surrogate woman.

On a petition filed by the couple, the Gujarat High Court directed the Centre in November to grant citizenship to the twins, saying that since the twins were born to an Indian surrogate mother they were entitled to citizenship. Aggrieved, the Centre filed the present appeal in the Supreme Court. The Centre argued that under the Citizenship Act, 1955, since the commissioning parents were a German couple, the two children born to an Indian woman could not be treated as Indian citizens, so there was no question of its granting them passports. But the couple wanted that the twins be accorded Indian citizenship so they would be entitled to passports and they could leave for Germany with Indian passports.

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 10:39:19 AM |

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