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Surrogate German twins get visa

After an excruciating legal battle that lasted for two years, German parents of surrogate twins, who were born to an Indian woman, finally got reprieve when the Solicitor-General informed the SC that the babies have been granted visa by the German administration.

india Updated: May 26, 2010 16:25 IST

Curtains came down on a two-year-long legal battle involving the surrogate twins of a German couple with the Supreme Court being informed today that they have been granted visa to leave the country.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium told the vacation Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and C K Prasad that the German government had granted visa to the twins born to a surrogate Indian mother and that the Centre has completed all the formalities for ensuring that the couple could return to their country with the babies, without any further jitters.

"We can only wish them good luck," the Bench observed while complementing the Solicitor General for facilitating the visas for the twins.

The Supreme Court, however, hoped that Parliament would make appropriate legislation to clarify the country's legal position vis-a-vis the citizenship rights of a surrogate child born to an Indian woman, but commissioned by foreign parents.

To this, the Solicitor General submitted that he had already written to the Union government to make appropriate legislation to avoid tricky situations as the present one.

The German couple -- John Balaz and his wife -- had sought Indian citizenship for the children born in February 2008 through an Indian woman Martha Immanual Khristy on the plea that the twins otherwise would not be allowed entry into Germany which does not recognise surrogacy.

Earlier, the apex court had directed the Central Adoption Resource Agency to treat the matter as a on-off case and consider the plea of the couple for adoption of the twins on humanitarian grounds. The Supreme Court had passed the direction after the couple told the Bench that they were willing to go for an inter-country adoption as surrogacy is a punishable offence in their country.

The court had passed the direction after the counsel for the Union government told the bench that under the existing rules, the German couple cannot be granted adoption rights as such, and that a privilege is available only if the children are abandoned by the biological parents.

In the present case, the government said the children were born through a surrogate mother and that there was no provision under the law for inter-country adoption for the children. It however, had offered to examine the plea for adoption of the German couple as a special case provided it was not treated as a precedent.

First Published: May 26, 2010 15:47 IST