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Deadline for surrogate babies

Friday, May 27th, 2016
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fjkRj4oSHREEJANA SHRESTHA

Supreme Court’s timeframe to allow the departure of surrogate babies ended on 25 May, and 247 offspring born in Nepal were taken by their foreign parents in the last two years.

The number includes the number of babies given exit permits after the Supreme Court’s decision to halt the surrogacy services in Nepal, but excludes babies airlifted to Israel after the last year’s earthquake of which the government has no records.

The Department of Immigration (DoI) and Ministry of Home Affairs on 29 October 2015, granted permission to foreign couples in Nepal to take home their babies conceived and born through surrogacy before the SC’s stay order on 25 August after legal complications over surrogacy surfaced.

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The DoI said it has provided exit visas to all babies, including those stranded and conceived before the decision of the SC. Director General Kedar Neupane said they would not issue visas to any babies conceived after the Sourt’s stay order.

However, he added that the DoI is ready to issue exit visas to any of such babies remaining in Nepal for whatever reason despite end of the nine-month period.  Couples from Israel, Australia, United States of America, Brazil, Canada, Spain and many others are among those who came to Nepal for surrogacy services.

The record at the DoI shows that Israeli couples took 125, the largest number, of babies while Australian and American citizen took 52 and 49 babies respectively.

Nepal became destination for commercial surrogacy in Nepal after the services was banned in Thailand and legal complications for gay couples and other couples who were married for less than two years. The DoI provided visa to first surrogate baby in February 2014.

In 2014 the government allowed foreigners to have surrogacy services in Nepal, but after reports of abuse and exploitation of Nepali mothers, banned them from 18 September, 2015.

 

Country No of surrogate babies
Israel 125
Australia 52
USA 29
Brazil 14
Spain 6
Canada 3
Netherlands 3
Mexico 2
GRB 2
Tunisia 2
Philippines 2
Serbia 1
Portuguese 1
Sweden 1
Venezuela 1
Ecuador 1
Total 247

Source: Department of Immigration

 

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