parents…NRIs insist on having fair-skinned children….police found nine infants and a pregnant Thai woman….most of the children appeared Western...Lertkrai said: “The babies all look different…hard to
believe they share the same blood”…..
Are “fair-skinned” children really the be-all and end-all of
adoption and is it the case that a “fair skinned child” always “look like us”?
We do not know how to say this politely, but in the pale-world
all browns are sand-niggers. Our cousins – one of whom can be fairly
described as golden white in complexion – who grew up down under were
called “chocolate” in school.
Meanwhile…a huge surrogacy scandal. One golden-hearted Australian couple – with the dad-to-be, a remorse-free, child sex offender – had twins through surrogacy. One of the kids has Down’s syndrome and was abandoned (see below). In response, Thailand plans to ban commercial surrogacy effective yesterday, and 200-odd aussie parents-to-be will be facing maximum pain (and monetary loss).
India is the only other nation widely open to surrogacy. Recent rules have been tightened here as well, this path is supposedly blocked for same sex couples or single parents-to-be. But knowing how the rules work in India, one can always find a way out, if you know what we mean. Unlike Thailand, you may even be able to dump the kid if you do not like her, pay off the agency a bit of hush money and no one would be wiser.
Here is the thing that is truly bothersome. Why is adoption such a headache? Leaving aside the fair-skinned child supply-demand mismatch, how is it fair that Non Resident Indians are finding the adoption process to be more cumbersome than Ethiopia? Why not have a fast-track process available for people who can afford it? NRIs have a lot of clout with Indian babu-dom, remittances from abroad is a precious lifeline for India.There should be a full-fledged effort to settle children as quickly as possible. Who knows, with the right incentives in place, people may fall in love with a dark-skinned child as well!!
If the new rules treat everyone at par, then that counts as progress. We are a bit scared of Shrimati Maneka (first animal lover, wife of Sanjay) Gandhi but we are rather pleased with her efforts in this direction.
years after they submitted documents for adopting a child in India, Devi
and Joseph will finally get to see their six-year-old ‘daughter’ when
the non-resident Indian couple settled in Dallas in the United States
comes to Delhi next month to take her home.
It has been a long
wait filled with home studies, delays and court procedures. “The
adoption agency in Delhi has been regularly sending us pictures of
Siara, but we feel we have missed out a good part of her childhood,”
said Joseph, 43, who hails from Bangalore and works as software analyst
in the US.
“At one point, we had decided to adopt a child from China or
Ethiopia, where the delay is much less, but my wife was insistent our
child should at least look like us,” said Joseph, speaking over the
phone. Indian expatriates hoping to adopt a child from their home
country may soon have to submit to a much less gruelling experience than
Devi and Joseph.
NRI couples could be treated on a par with
their resident Indian counterparts following changes being made to
adoption rules by the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare. As a result,
NRI couples could have equal opportunities for adopting a child in
India. This will spell a major change from the existing rules, under
which the first preference is given to India-based couples.
Maneka Gandhi, whose ministry is working towards finetuning the Juvenile
Justice (JJ) Act with an entire chapter on adoption for the first time,
has already written to adoption agencies in states, child welfare
committee heads and judges not to delay the processing of adoption
A few years ago adoption agencies were asked to
stick to a ratio of 80:20, with only a fifth of the eligible children
for adoption abroad, in a move introduced to curb overseas child
trafficking in the garb of adoption. This led to a fall in overseas
adoptions from 628 in 2010-11 to 430 in 2013-2014.
NRIs get is often the `rejects’ of the Indian parents. NRIs insist on
having fair-skinned, healthy children less than one year of age but such
children are to be first picked by couples here,” said a senior
official at Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), the body that
handles and monitors adoptions in India.
The official, who did
not wish to be identified, added, “The NRIs, even after waiting for many
months, are left to choose from children with medical issues, which is
why they choose to go to other countries or give up on the process.”
In the past ten years, over 8,000 NRI couples have applied for Indian
children but only a few have been shortlisted. “We screen the NRI
couples many times to keep the number very small because we know due to
the existing rules we don’t have many children to list for adoption. We
will expand the list once the new rules are notified,” the official
This should change as the company’s restructuring paves the way for growth .
HUNDREDS of Australians with infants
newly born or being carried by pregnant Thai surrogates are in limbo
after Thailand moved to outlaw commercial surrogacy.
The National Council of Peace and Order interim military government
yesterday announced the drastic measure, aimed at shutting a burgeoning
industry mostly catering to foreign biological parents, in the wake of
the baby Gammy scandal.
Surrogacy Australia executive officer
Rachel Kunde estimated there were up to 200 Australian couples whose
surrogates were pregnant in Thailand or whose infants had been born in
recent days and weeks.
In Surrogacy Australia’s network, there were close to 100 couples in that situation. “We
are very concerned for those people and we hope that they can bring
their babies home without any trouble from Thai authorities,” Ms Kunde
Last night an Australian woman whose surrogate is 30 weeks pregnant
in Bangkok said she was highly anxious about the prospect of the
surrogate “going underground” if she were pressured.
“I called the
nurse at the clinic this morning and she told me all the surrogates are
still coming in for their scans,” said the woman, who asked for
anonymity to protect her daughter, born to a Thai surrogate. “It is a
horrible wait for us. We are due to go there in eight weeks but we are
really worried about whether we will be able to leave with the baby.”
foreign surrogacy scandal was triggered a week ago by the revelation a
West Australian couple, Wendy and David Farnell, had left behind in
Thailand a Down syndrome baby with his birth mother.
mother, Pattaramon Janbua, 21, claims the couple refused to accept the
boy, Gammy, now seven months old, but returned home with his twin
The Farnells have denied this account but in a statement and through a friend have given varying accounts.
Pattaramon, on hearing Mr Farnell had in the past been convicted of
child sex offences, has demanded the girl be returned to her.
new law is currently in draft form — it has been proposed since 2012 but
the previous democratic government “sat on it” according to one of its
drafters — and could take several months to pass and implement.
the meantime, the government says it will strictly apply Thailand
Medical Council regulations that prohibit surrogacy except for blood
relatives and on condition there is no payment.
prevents Thai fertility clinics and doctors from offering the service,
which has been used by an estimated 200 Australians — couples and
potential sole parents — a year in recent years.
questions remain about the implementation of the law as it affects
foreign people’s children just born to Thai surrogates, or fetuses
still being carried to term by birth mothers.
Colonel Winthai Suvaree said yesterday the law would allow infants who
have just been born to be suckled by their birth mothers for six months,
but then would allow the baby to be taken home by parents.
Ministry general-secretary Samphan Komrit was very vague about how the
law would apply to the foreign biological parents of fetuses being
carried by Thai women for payment, however. He would only say those
cases would be dealt with “according to morality”.
said: “Commercial surrogacy is illegal, according to the Medical
Council. We don’t know the whereabouts of the (currently pregnant)
surrogate mothers, so it is a difficult question to answer.” He
said the new law was aimed at protecting infants and Thai women,
although Ms Kunde said she was concerned also about the potential for
Thai surrogates to be harassed or persecuted.
The new law will punish doctors and fertility clinics carrying out the procedures, and surrogacy agents, from today onwards. Under
the current TMC regulations, enabling commercial surrogacy is
punishable by one to three years’ imprisonment and fines of 20,000 to
60,000 baht ($670-$2000).
Currently there is no law specifically
covering surrogacy, although Thai Medical Council regulations specify
any such pregnancy must be altruistic — not for payment — and the birth
mother must be a blood relative of the donors.
investigating the Bangkok clinic, agent and doctors involved in Ms
Pattaramon’s pregnancy with a view to laying charges under current TMC
The scandal escalated on Tuesday when police and
welfare officers found nine infants and a pregnant Thai woman,
accompanied by nannies, in several apartments at Latphrao, a northern
Bangkok condominium block. Police were yesterday still trying to establish the identities and parentage of the babies. They are planning DNA tests.
lawyer acting for a Japanese man he claims is a wealthy businessman
said his client wanted the babies for himself and planned to raise them
in Thailand. He claimed the Japanese father was planning to pay about
one million baht for the 10 surrogacies.
However, a Japanese woman
interviewed at the scene on Tuesday claimed one of the children was
hers and several witnesses said most of the children appeared Western.
Lertkrai, the director-general of the Department of Social Development
and Welfare, said: “The babies all look different and it is hard to
believe they share the same blood. Personally, I think the surrogacy of the babies is illegal.”
Surrogacy Australia’s Ms Kunde yesterday blamed rogue operators for causing the crackdown.
people in our network have all used reputable clinics and they have
talked to other couples first — most people do the right thing,” she
Yesterday, West Australian Child Protection Minister Helen
Morton declined to reveal whether her department was still considering
leaving the twin sister of baby Gammy with their Australian parents
following fresh details about the child sex offences of the husband,
Bunbury electrician David John Farnell.
His offending spanned a 10-year period and a magistrate found he had no remorse for his youngest victim.