Einar Faerseth and Helga Sveinsdottir are hoping this Christmas, when the world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, they will be at home in Iceland with their baby. Joel, was born to a surrogate mother in Thane in November. The couple has not been able to take Joel home because Iceland does not approve of surrogacy.
The Icelandic Parliament, after much persuasion from the couple and heated debates back home, decided to give the baby a social security number. This means Joel could be the first surrogate baby to be granted citizenship of Iceland.
Einar, 40, and Helga, 37, came to India after several failed in vitro fertilisation attempts in Iceland. They opted for surrogacy at Origin Fertility Centre in Thane. “According to Icelandic laws, the surrogate mother’s husband is the child’s father,” Einar said. “After Joel’s birth, we wrote to the Congressmen explaining our situation. We submitted all documents but our government was skeptical about their authenticity.”
On Saturday, the couple saw a report on their case in an Icelandic newspaper. “We later got a call from a senator, who said the Parliament had decided to grant Joel a social security number.”
The family will have to wait for a few more days for Joel’s emergency passport and their exit visas to be issued. Dr Sandeep Mane of Origin Fertility Centre said, “There should be some sort of standardisation regarding the documents required [for such cases] and the format. Once this is clear, couples can opt for surrogacy happily.”