It looks like there is no end to the problems arising out of the emerging reproductive tourism market in India. We have already chronicled problems experienced by citizens of Germany, Japan and Israel when they attempted to return home with their children born by an Indian surrogate. Not to be outdone, France has now decided to make life miserable for a French gay couple who had the temerity to become parents of twins via a surrogate in Mumbi:
After the anguish of the Israeli gay father in May, a French gay father is now similarly stranded with twins in Mumbai after their birth through surrogacy in April-end. However, since surrogacy is not legally accepted in France, the father now faces prosecution or losing his newborns altogether if he returns home.
Researcher Paul Augustine’s (real name withheld) desire to have a family with his partner of 14 years was finally realised when his twin boys were delivered at the L H Hiranandani Hospital, Powai. Augustine then took the birth certificates the hospital gave him to the French consulate and asked for the names to be transferred to the French birth registry, a move that is necessary to get his newborns French passports. The embassy, however, is yet to decide if the names are to be transferred as France does not approve of surrogacy. The laws are particularly stringent for homosexuals who want to become parents through surrogacy.
The distraught father, who has been here since February and is running out of money, is at his wits’ end as he says he has heard of past instances where gay fathers from France have faced difficulty taking their surrogate children home. However, he has hope because all those fathers were ultimately successful. ”I could be paying a price for trying to take my children back through the honest route,” he said.
The father of the stateless twins is hoping his government will take a sympathetic approach. ”I have not gone against any French law as I have opted for surrogacy outside French territory. And I have not violated any Indian law either,” he said.
This is heartbreaking and another unnecessary reminder to all individuals considering surrogacy anywhere in the world: be certain you consult with an independent and experienced family law and immigration attorney before proceeding with a cross-border surrogate arrangement. We will monitor this case and update the Blog with any developments.