Australian parents of twins born through surrogacy in India chose to only bring one of the children home, and Australian officials could do almost nothing to prevent them from doing so.
It is not known whether Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, who is currently in India, has raised the issue during her visit. Yesterday Bishop met with India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi (pictured).
Official documents released under the Freedom of Information and first reported by ABC, show Australian officials struggling to deal with the case of the NSW couple in 2012. The couple had twins – a boy and a girl – born to an Indian surrogate. The husband approached the Australian Department of Immigration in December 2012 saying that they already had a boy and only wanted to take the girl “to complete their family”, and said “they could not afford to support both children”.
Despite the parents been told repeatedly that abandoning the boy could leave him “stateless” because India did not recognise surrogate children as citizens, they were eventually given the green light to leave him behind and bring the girl back to Australia.
It is thought the boy may then have been sold. When Chief Justice of the Family Court, Diana Bryant, was told this may have happened when ABC broke the story in October last year, she commented “if that’s true, then that’s basically trafficking children … it’s in breach of all sorts of human rights conventions – it’s a criminal offence in many places.”
Documents do not reveal whether a financial transaction took place but the whole incident raises grave concerns over overseas surrogacy arrangements.