Surrogacy: Mother, husband have no right to child, says court

On surrogacy, a Delhi court has ruled that a surrogate mother and her husband cannot have any right over a child conceived and delivered through artificial means.

"Definition of term 'surrogacy' in guidelines laid down by Indian Council of Medial Research/National Academy of Medical Sciences itself recognizes that the intended parents are parents genetically related to the child and not the surrogate mother or her husband," Additional Senior Civil Judge Sonu Agnihotri said.

Agnihotri's remarks came while declaring a single woman from the UK as the biological mother of a boy delivered by an Indian woman acting as a surrogate mother as it held that a surrogate mother is not genetically related to the child.

The court made it clear that neither the surrogate mother nor her husband shall have any right over the boy conceived and delivered through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) or In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

It also noted that since the child was born by way of in-vitro fertilisation, "it was clear that the boy born to the surrogate mother was gentically related to the plaintiff (UK resident)."

The court passed the order on a suit initiated by the foreign national who, after having received the custody of the child from the surrogate mother, moved the court praying for a decree declaring her as the "genetically/ biological mother of baby boy" to put to rest her apprehension that in future, the surrogate mother or her husband might claim custody of the boy and stake their claim.

The petitioner is a single woman holding dual citizenship of United Kingdom and Australia and had come to India in March 2012 looking for a surrogate mother after learning that IVF is not illegal here.

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