Finally, some light at the end of the tunnel:
The Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) has agreed to give a No Objection Certificate as a special case to German national John Balaz and his wife for adopting the twins born through a surrogate Indian mother, the government today told the Supreme Court.
Government counsel Dewash Mehta told a bench of Justices G S Singhvi and Asok Kumar Ganguly that while CARA had agreed to permit the couple to adopt the children, it was now for the German government to take a decision on granting visas to the twin.
The counsel offered to submit a written affidavit in this regard by Wedensday.
The apex court had earlier directed CARA under Union Women and Child Welfare Ministry to consider grant of adoption rights as a ‘special case’ to the German couple on humanitarian grounds.
The apex court had passed the direction after the couple told the Bench that they were willing to go for an inter-country adoption as surrogacy is a punishable offence in Germany.
Under the existing Indian government rules, the German couple cannot be granted adoption rights as such a privilege is available only if the children are abandoned by the biological parents.
In the present case, the government said the children were born through a surrogate mother and there was no provision under the law for inter-country adoption for children. It however, offered to examine the plea for adoption of the German couple as a special case provided it was not treated as a precedent.
While this is welcome news for Jan Balaz and Susan Lohle, it does not bode well for other German couples who need the assistance of surrogates in India. It also will create potentially insurmountable obstacles for other infertility patients living in countries that choose to adopt the German model.