Change in Visa Guidelines For Intending Parents Wishing To Avail of Surrogacy Services in India Issued by Indian Home Ministry

 In Fertility

The Indian Home Ministry has issued new guidelines for couples intending to travel to India to avail of surrogacy services.

While a couple may enter India once on a tourist visa, on a recognisance trip, and providing no samples are given, a couple must apply for and obtain a medical visa for all further trips.

There are certain conditions to be complied with before a medical visa will issue, the most notable of which are:-

  • That a medical visa will only issue to a heterosexual couple who have been married for at least two years.
  • The application must be accompanied by a letter from the Department of Foreign Affairs confirming:-
    (a) That Ireland recognises surrogacy, and
    (b) That the child or children born to the commissioning couple through a surrogacy arrangement in India will be permitted to enter this country as their biological child/children.

This closes the door to single people and same sex couples going to India to avail of their surrogacy services.

The real question here is how will the Irish State deal with the request of its citizens for a letter confirming the legal status of the child born through surrogacy in India, to Irish parents. This is of particular concern in circumstances where The Irish State regards the surrogate (birth mother) to be the mother of the child and where the commissioning mother, whether she is genetically linked to the baby or not, is not under Irish law, regarded as the legal parent of the child.

The only way a child born through surrogacy in India can get permission to leave India is if all the visa guidelines have been complied with and all paperwork in order. Additionally the only way such a child can enter this country is if the commissioning father is Irish and an Irish Court Order has been obtained declaring him to be a parent of the child thus permitting the Irish authorities to issue a travel document or passport for the child.

Legal advice in Ireland and India should be sought before embarking down the surrogacy route in India.

As a cautionary note and in preparation for the introduction of new Legislation in India any couple contemplating going to India to avail of surrogacy services should ensure that the clinic they are dealing with is registered.

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