International or cross-border surrogacy raises serious questions of law relating to citizenship, nationality, motherhood, parentage and the rights of a child to be raised by their parents. It is for these reasons that is it important for intended parents to carefully assess the legal risks involved in surrogacy in the country the birth will occur and the country the child will be raised in. (http://blog.indiansurrogacylaw.com) Baby Manja's Japanese citizenship took over six months to resolve following his birth in India. A German couple has been fighting their legal system for almost two years to get citizenship for their test-tube baby born through surrogacy in India and their case remains unresolved. Due to last minute elevated fee hikes, a Canadian couple's joy as first-time parent was robbed. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-india-surrogacy-20110418,0,4592266.story An Israeli homosexual couple has been denied the rights to obtain an Israeli passport for their two-month-old child born in India. These are but a few of the problems caused by surrogacy in India. (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/5-yrs-in-making-holes-in-draft-law/articleshow/5915005.cms) Is surrogacy in India safe? This is a complicated question and the answer is yes and no. The reality is that surrogacy in India is approximately 5 years old. Reproductive tourism is a new field to India and the laws are immature and untested. By contrast the laws of surrogacy are 30 years old in California. The courts in California have dealt with thousands of surrogacy cases and the laws are known, tested and upheld by the Supreme Court of California. India's largest surrogacy clinic has participated in 167 surrogacy cases from 2003 to 2010 whereas just one of the largest surrogacy agencies in CA has participated in over 1500 births. In 2002 India passes laws making surrogacy legal in that country. In India the law states that a surrogate mother's name is not to appear on the birth certificate and that she has no right to keep the child. Rudy Rupak, co-founder and president of PlanetHospital, a medical tourism agency with headquarters in California, said he expected to send at least 100 couples to India this year for surrogacy, up from 25 in 2007, the first year he offered the service. Lower prices in India make surrogacy affordable by middle class Americans. Under guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research, surrogate mothers sign away their rights to any children. A surrogate's name is not even on the birth certificate. (http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/005073.html)However in the Jan Balaz case the birth certificate carries the name of the Indian surrogate mother and Mr. Jan Balaz, the German National. The Supreme Court of India will soon decide if Mr. Balaz must undergo an adoption of his child from the surrogate mother thereby confirming that the surrogate mother is the legal mother of the child she carries. This is of course not in accordance with the agreement the couple entered into with their surrogate mother and the agency. The decision of the Supreme Court of India shall have an impact on all the ongoing cases of surrogacy in the country. It is highly recommended that intended parents wait for a decision from the Supreme Court of India before entering into any surrogacy arrangement. There are strict rules governing international adoption and these rules will most likely be breached if a surrogate mother receives compensation for her services. The laws in India are immature, untested and unpredictable. Over the next decade, with more experience in this field, India may find a solution to how to regulate surrogacy. There is no certainty regarding the laws of surrogacy in India. What are the pros and cons of surrogacy in India?
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