Truth is bitter, realise NRI couple

An NRI couple from the United States landed themselves in trouble when their child’s passport was cancelled. The U.S. Consulate had revoked the passport after learning that the child was born to a surrogate mother from India.

The couple — the husband carries an Indian passport while the mother and child are having U.S. passports — came to India en route to another foreign country and had approached the US Consulate for the visa details.

The Consulate annulled the passport once the couple inadvertently confessed about the son’s birth origin. It directed the couple to once again apply for an Indian passport for issuing the visa. The couple then approached the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Secunderabad.

RPO K. Srikar Reddy said that a fresh Indian passport can be processed only when the couple submit documents as per the guidelines of the Union Health Ministry. The Ministry rules stipulate that the parents have to submit a DNA report to prove their parentage or submit documents about adopting the child. “It would be sufficient to submit DNA report in this case as the baby’s father was holding an Indian passport,” said Mr. Reddy.

Sources in the passport office said the couple had approached a fertility centre in Ameerpet two years ago and got the baby conceived through a surrogate mother. The couple managed to obtain an Indian passport for the child based on the birth certificate issued by the municipal corporation with their names as parents without mentioning anything about the surrogacy. Usually, the birth certificate for such births will also have the name of the surrogate mother.

The couple later went to US where they obtained the US passport for the baby. The cat was out of the bag when they returned to India for seeking the visa details to their foreign trip. A slip of tongue at the Consulate got them back to square one.

Incidentally, last year in January, an American woman J. Perllinda Vanburen Green abandoned her baby born via an Indian surrogate mother at the RPO in Secunderabad protesting delay in issuing passport to him. She took back her son only after the police promised to secure the necessary documents at the earliest. After many deliberations, the External Affairs Ministry issued the passport to the child in New Delhi, after which she flew back to her native place with her son.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 11:15:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/truth-is-bitter-realise-nri-couple/article4804969.ece

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