Japanese grandmother of surrogate baby not to apply for Japanese nationality

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Jaipur, Oct 31 : Emiko Yamada, 74-year-old Japanese grandmother of 'Manjhi', says she may not apply for Japanese nationality for the surrogate baby who is set to fly back to Japan along with her.

Speaking to reporters here, Yamada said that they don't want to impose any barriers on the child and they shall not apply for the 'nationalization' of the child.

"I haven't decided anything at the moment and there are a lot of things that I wanted to say, an animation movie would be made on her (Manjhi). And we have been discussing that we might not apply for nationality," said Yamada.

Manjhi was caught in a legal tussle as India's laws prohibit the child's divorced Japanese father from taking her custody. Soon after her conception, her parents got separated.

Kamal Vijay Vargiya, the baby's local guardian and a family friend of the Yamada's said that the grandmother is thankful to the Indian media that they have helped to highlight her cause.

"Yamada has undergone through a lot in the last three months. She has seen many ups and downs in her life, first the baby fell ill, then the baby had to go through the legal tussle. Every day she used to face a new problem and there was this growing fear whether she would be able to leave the country with the baby or not," Vargiya added.

"During the Diwali vacation when we were discussing about the whole situation, I asked her how does it feel? She answered, it seemed that in three months, I have lived my whole life and she is thankful to the media that she would now be able to finally go back to Japan with the baby," said Vargiya.

The baby's parents Ikufumi Yamada, 45, and his then-wife Yuki Yamada, 41, had come to India a year ago and had hired the services of a surrogate mother in western Ahmedabad city, but during the pregnancy, the couple got divorced.

Soon after the baby was born, serial bombings took place in Ahmedabad and the baby was shifted to Jaipur.

Her father wanted to take custody of the child but Manjhi's future was left in a legal limbo, with only her grandmother to look after, as her father had to leave India on expiry of his visa.

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