Stuff co.nz 14 April 2015
Australian officials could do almost nothing to stop Australian parents from abandoning their baby son, born through surrogacy in India, after the couple decided they did not want to bring him to Australia.
In documents that raise fresh concerns over overseas surrogacy arrangements, government cables and emails show that Department of Foreign Affairs staff told an Australian couple that they could leave their son “stateless” if they did not apply for Australian citizenship for him.
The documents, released under Freedom of Information and first reported by the ABC, show Australian officials struggling to deal with the case of a couple from NSW who had twins – a boy and a girl – born to an Indian surrogate in 2012.
The husband approached the Department of Immigration in December 2012, saying that he and his wife only wanted to take the baby girl back home, explaining to officials “they could not afford to support both children”.
“He also stated that they already had a boy and wanted to take the girl to complete their family.”
“Our ability to ensure the welfare of a non-Australian child in a foreign jurisdiction is limited,” an official cable sent in late 2012 says, while other messages call for “urgent” advice from government colleagues.