Mumbai (AsiaNews) — An Australian couple, who had two biological twins by a surrogate mother in India, went home with the baby girl and left her brother because they already have a boy.
The case dates back to 2012, but came to light only two days ago following a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Family Court Chief Justice Bryant said that officials with the Australian High Commission in New Delhi pleaded with the couple to take both babies. They even held back the baby girl’s visa to try to convince the parents to take both infants. However, the parents asked to register the child as an Australian, and only obtained a passport for the girl. The High Commission had no grounds to refuse because the child met the criteria.
"These proceedings represent a serious threat to the culture of life," said Pascoal Carvalho, a Catholic doctor in Mumbai.
"On March 10, 1987," he told AsiaNews, "the Vatican responded to developments in the field of reproductive technology with a 40-page document, entitled Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation’."
"In it, the Church expressed its opposition to all technological interventions in the process of human reproduction. Specifically, the document condemns artificial insemination and embryo transfer, in vitro fertilisation and surrogacy. "
Sadly, "children’s rights are almost never taken into account, which turns human life into just another commercial transaction," Dr Carvalho explained. "In recent years, the number of couples turning to surrogacy has risen rapidly, raising complex ethical and legal issues."
The problem, he noted, is that "at present there is no worldwide regulation of surrogacy. Various laws can and do lead to some children being born stateless. There is an urgent need for international regulations for the surrogacy industry across jurisdictions."
The story is reminiscent of "baby Gammy," another Australian couple’s biological son, born to a surrogate mother in Thailand.
In that case, the couple only took his baby sister, leaving him behind because he is affected by Down syndrome.