SC asked Union Government to clarify its stand on citizenship of surrogate children

Sep 5, 2014 12:12 IST

The Supreme Court of India on 4 September 2014 asked the Union Government to clarify its stand on granting dual citizenship of children who are born in India via an Indian surrogate mother, while the biological mother of children is a foreign national.

The Supreme Court bench led by Justice Ranajan Gogoi highlighted that under the Constitution, a child born in India from a surrogate mother is entitled to an Indian citizenship, but what happens when the biological mother is a foreign citizen and the child applies for citizenship of that country. The Bench asked the Government after looking into the larger issue as there is a need of a comprehensive legislation that deals with all situations of a surrogate child that is created by the latest reproductive technology.


The bench asked the Government that whether it was open to consider dual citizenship for surrogate children born under such situations. The dual citizenship can give limited entitlements to such children

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta in its reply to the SC informed that a Bill - Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill - was introduced in the parliament in 2010. He would get instruction on the status of the Bill.

After hearing the response of the ASG, the court adjourned the case for hearing after 6 weeks, so that it can to hear the reply from the government.

Background
First time the problem of citizenship of a surrogate child was highlighted in the case of twin babies who were born to an Indian surrogate mother and a German father, Jan Balaz in 2008. The twin boys named Balaz Nikolas and Balaz Leonard were conceived in January 2008 by Indian women in Gujarat’s Anand district.

Citizenship as per Constitution of India

Part II, Citizenship of Constitution of India under Article 5 defines Citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution, it says
At the commencement of this Constitution, every person who has his domicile in the territory of India and-
(a) Who was born in the territory of India; or
b) Either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or
(c) Who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five years immediately preceding such commencement, shall be a citizen of India.

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