Surrogate twins: Govt holds out hope for German father

Relief seems to be near for two-year-old Nicholas and Leonard, the surrogate twins of a German couple, with Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium assuring the Supreme Court on Monday that talks with the German Embassy were taking a positive turn.

Jan Balaz, the surrogate father, has been unable to gain entry for the twins into Germany as it does not recognise surrogacy.

The Supreme Court has so far been cautious to send the children abroad with Balaz as it apprehends that the twins will be left in no-man's land in case the German authorities deter him.

Though Balaz has been asking for Indian passports for the twins to take them to Germany as Indian citizens, the government has been against it on the grounds that it would amount to belittling of Indian citizenship. The matter has been deadlocked ever since with the children staying with Balaz in Jaipur.

It is in this context that the SG's words came as a balm for a visibly anxious Balaz, who was present in the courtroom before a Division Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly.

"We are working with the Ministry of External Affairs and are in touch with the German Embassy. We will be able to solve this issue by next week. His (Balaz's) visa has been extended," the SG submitted.

Balaz, however, submitted a written undertaking to ensure that no harm would come to the children. He said he would return to India "as and when required" if given permission to take the children to Germany for pursuing a paternity case.

The German national also agreed to deposit his passport with the Indian Consulate in Germany or Serbia, where his paternal family stays, within one week of his entry there.

Besides willing to accept the Supreme Court's status as the "lawful guardian" of the twins, Balaz said he was willing to deposit a sum equivalent to the charge of three air tickets to "secure the travel of the children".

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