Centre told to clarify stand on citizenship of surrogate children

The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the government to clarify its stand on the citizenship of children born via an Indian surrogate mother in India, but whose biological mother is a foreign national.

“Under the Constitution, a child born here from an Indian surrogate mother is entitled to Indian citizenship, but what happens if the biological mother is a foreign citizen and the child applies for citizenship of that country,” a Bench led by Justice Ranajan Gogoi asked.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta acknowledged the problem, adding that in countries like Germany surrogacy is banned by law.

The Bench is looking into the larger issue of the need for a “comprehensive legislation” dealing with all the issues and situations, citizenship of a surrogate child, created by the latest reproductive technology.

The problem of citizenship of a surrogate child was highlighted in the case of two twin babies born to an Indian surrogate mother and a German father in 2008. The two boys — Balaz Nikolas and Balaz Leonard, whose father is German national Jan Balaz — were conceived by an Indian woman in Anand district of Gujarat in January 2008.

Today, Justice Gogoi suggested whether the government could even consider dual citizenship for surrogate children born in such circumstances.

“The concept of dual citizenship for surrogate children born in certain circumstances could be considered. This dual citizenship can give limited entitlements to such children,” Justice Gogoi suggested to Mr. Mehta.

The ASG informed that a Bill - Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill - was introduced in the parliament in 2010, and he would get instruction on the status of the Bill.

The court has listed the case for hearing after 6 weeks to hear the reply from the government.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 6:34:34 PM |

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