Earlier today a colleague of mine passed along this press release that can be found on Reuters. Because it was impossible to verify, I withheld publishing it until I was able to get independent confirmation of the underlying circumstances.
Here is the meaningful quote from the press release issued by Crystal Travis, owner of World of Surrogacy.com:
Ms. Smith says, “my baby was born by surrogacy in India and is now caught in legal limbo. I was misled by doctors in India, thinking my husband’s sperm was being used. Only after the birth did we learn that there was no genetic connection.” India regulations mandate that the surrogate child have one of the parents DNA to obtain an exit Visa from India. In Ms. Smith’s case, she was able to secretly take her child out of India to Africa where she has family. To date she has yet to get necessary visa approval from India to bring her baby home to the US.
The backstory, as it has been related to me, is that a married New Jersey couple (Smith is the pseudonym being used to protect the identity of the parents and child) retained the services of an IVF facility in Delhi to implant their embryos into a gestational carrier. Similar to the Canadian case we previously blogged about, the couple learned that their baby was not genetically related to either of them (it is unclear whether donor eggs were intended to be used). Rather than place the child in an orphanage as had been recommended, the New Jersey couple has been fighting for custody of the child. Currently the baby is in an African country while this American couple seeks to adopt the child.
There are clearly a lot more questions than answers now but one has to wonder if this horrific situation was the catalyst for the recently promulgated Guidelines issued by India’s Ministry of Home Affairs. We will update this story once we have been able to verify the other allegations.