New Delhi: Curtains came down on a two-year-
long legal battle involving the surrogate twins of a German
couple with the Supreme Court being told on Wednesday 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 the Centre has completed all the formalities
for ensuring that the couple could return to their country
with the babies.
"We can only wish them good luck," the Bench observed
while complementing the Solicitor General for facilitating the
visas to the twins.
The Supreme Court, however, hoped that Parliament would
make appropriate legislation to clarify the country`s legal
position vis-à-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 surrogate mother 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 consider as a one-time measure 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
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 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 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.