Dura lex sed lex

I’ve already written that India had revised its laws on surrogate motherhood: back in December 2012, the Indian authorities have announced the toughening of requirements for genetic parents. Now services of surrogate mothers are available there only for heterosexual couples who are married for at least two years. However, the main difficulty that foreign parents face, is the fact that now everyone who uses the services of surrogacy in India is required to obtain a special medical visa, whereas before the normal touristic visa was enough. The law started on July 1, and the other day it became known that at once four Israel couples who had not managed to make necessary visas before this time, were unable to return to their homeland with newborn children.

The families who managed to leave India only in the middle of July, blamed in an accident, not only the Government of India, but the Israel Foreign Ministry as well, which, in their opinion, "didn’t give the proper assistance in the soonest resolution of situation." The representatives of the Israel authorities, however, didn’t agree with the charges against them, since, according to their words, "made an extraordinary effort to help Israel parents overcome the objective difficulties related to the new Indian law." Yigal Palmor, a spokesman of the Foreign Ministry of Israel also underlined that "couples who go to India for surrogacy procedures should understand that this is a bureaucratic process which takes at least a month, and sometimes more. But process can take even longer if the couple came to India without fulfilling all necessary formalities in advance.”



I think that the allegations made by the affected parents are not fair. Firstly, as Yigal Palmor correctly noted, the families had been informed about changes in the rules last December, so none can call this situation "unexpected". And, in my opinion, there is no reason to blame Israel Foreign Ministry if the families haven’t prepared all documents in advance. Secondly, the process of obtaining documents for a child born on surrogacy program, always takes a little longer, if you are in another country. People who go for surrogacy abroad should understand clearly that this process is not simple from a legal point of view, and it will take time before the bureaucratic things are over, and you with your child can return home. It is actual especially for the Israel couples: in recent years it has become very popular to go for surrogacy abroad: last year 58% of babies, born from surrogate mothers, were born in India, 20% - in the United States.