Punjab & Haryana High Court Issues Notice On Man’s Plea Seeking Permission To Take Surrogate Child To Australia After Visa Denial
The Punjab and Haryana High Court Tuesday issued notice to the Centre and Punjab government in a case where the petitioner, a commissioning parent, was refused Visa for the surrogate child as Australia's Department of Home Affairs asked him first to get a court order confirming that he has a right to remove the child from India.
Justice Sanjay Vashisth listed the matter for consideration on February 02 and asked the respondents to file their reply, if any, on or before the next date of hearing.
The petitioner Harsimren Singh, an unmarried Indian citizen working in Australia, and his three year old surrogate child Eric Thind have approached the court with a petition seeking permission for the parent to take the child to Australia.
As per the petitioner, the Australian government in a letter dated 11.06.2022, denied visa to the surrogate child, stating that the law in India relating to surrogacy with only one commissioning parent is unclear. The letter also demanded a court order confirming that the petitioner has full legal custody over the child, including the right to remove him from India and the legal right to determine where the child shall live.
The Australian authorities further demanded that the court order should stipulate that no other parties involved in the surrogacy arrangement, including the person who donated the egg, had any legal rights over the child.
The petitioner-parent, represented by Advocate Gagan Oberoi and Advocate Ayna Vasudeva, submitted that he is the de-facto and de-jure guardian of the surrogate child. The petitioner stated that as per the DNA report, he is the biological father of the surrogate child with a paternity match of more than 99.99 percent.
The court was told that no objection to his parental status or any claims of parenthood has been raised by the private respondents - the surrogate mother and her husband.
The petitioner further contended that the birth of the child through surrogacy took place in 2019, while the enactment regulating surrogacy, that is the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, came into force only on 25.12.2021 and does not operate with retrospective effect.
Reliance was placed on the Supreme Court decision in Baby Manji Yamada v. Union of India and Another, (2008) 13 SCC 518.
Case Title: Master Eric Thind and Another v. UOI and Others
Coram: Justice Sanjay Vashisth