An Australian couple has abandoned a surrogate baby in India, despite Australian consular officials pleading with the couple not to leave without the child. Fairfax Media understands that a baby boy was left behind while his parents returned to Australia.
On Wednesday night, an ABC investigation revealed that a surrogate mother gave birth to twins in India in 2012. “They already had one sex and they didn’t want the other child,” Family Court Chief Justice Diana Bryant told the ABC.
Chief Justice Bryant said the Australian High Commission in New Delhi delayed giving the Australian parents a visa to try and convince them to take both children home. The ABC investigation suggested that pressure had been applied to the High Commission to grant the visas by a senior political figure. “Yes, there definitely was some pressure being placed to expedite the process to ensure they could return to Australia,” said Chief Justice Bryant.
Bob Carr, who was foreign minister at the time, denies ever receiving any correspondence regarding a surrogacy issue in India. “I don’t recall surrogacy coming up in terms of our … the bi-lateral relationship between Australia and India, and I did not contact the Australian High Commission,” he told the ABC. Consular officials told Chief Justice Bryant that they were concerned money had exchanged hands. “If that’s true, that’s basically trafficking children,” she said,
Chief Judge John Pascoe has called for a national inquiry into surrogacy. “I am really concerned that this issue has not received the attention it properly deserves,” he said. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she would be concerned if the life of a child was put at risk. “Presumably the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade could go back through its records but I’m not able to access the former activities and advice of the previous government,” she said.
Expect more fallout from this tragic situation.