Jaipur, Aug 6: The future of a Japanese baby, born of an Indian surrogate mother is uncertain after her parents divorced. Because Indian law prohibits the child's divorced father from taking custody of her. Manjhi, the nine-day old baby's future is left in uncertainty. Her parents came to India a year ago and had hired the services of a surrogate mother in Ahmedabad, but during the pregnancy, the couple divorced.
Soon after the baby was born, serial bombings took place in Ahmedabad and the baby was shifted to Jaipur, where she is being currently looked after by the Arya Hospital. The father now wants to take custody of the child, but he had to leave India after his visa expired.
Ikufumi Yamada, 45, and his then-wife Yuki Yamada, 41, signed a surrogacy agreement in November. The baby was born on July 25 in the western state of Gujarat and is now in a hospital in Jaipur, in Rajasthan. According to reports, Yuki Yamada no longer wants to adopt the baby. And Indian laws prohibit single men from adopting children. Commercial surrogacy has been legal in India since 2002 but the child born of such an agreement has to be legally adopted by its biological parents.
According to doctors at the Arya Hospital, the child is being looked after well. "Doctor Yamada got divorced around mid-June, and after his divorce, he came alone to claim the custody of the child. But, according to the Indian laws, a single father cannot adopt a girl child. This is a major legal hassle arising in this case. But the question is when the child has father's 50 per cent DNA, where does the point arise of him having to adopt the child as he is her natural father," said Sanjay Arya, a doctor at the Arya Hospital.
Even as India is fast emerging as a major destination for surrogate pregnancies, such births are largely unregulated.
The Surrogacy Bill is pending in parliament, but according to governing laws, parents have to adopt their surrogate child and adoption laws make it difficult for single fathers to adopt girls.