The traditional citizenship signifies two factors like right to soil and right to blood. In the traditional aspect, citizenship is one of the big challenges in surrogacy. In many cases, the argument for legal citizenship had a question marked in surrogacy.
Different country-specific issues are highlighted during these arguments. A Permanent Bureau 2014 study has identified the issue of citizenship of these children as a “pressing problem” and highlighted in the Hague Conference Permanent Bureau.
The child to become a US citizen, both or at least one of the genetic parents of the child has to be a US citizen, as it been stressed by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.
The government of some countries does not provide citizenship to the child even if he/she is born in the same country, because the surrogate mother is not legally the parent. Gathering many experiences over the years with complicated scenarios, the laws have kept on evolving with decreasing ambiguity and much more transparency.
The birth of baby Manji in 2008 in India is one of such scenarios. Her birth was through commercial surrogacy between the Japanese parents and Indian surrogate. In this case, before the birth of the child, the parents got divorced and her commissioning mother refused to claim her.
The dispute became a bigger problem as the Indian law specifies to issue passport only in conjunction with the mother but neither the surrogate nor the Japanese mother claimed the baby. But finally, the grandmother claimed her after a brief period of uncertainty. Manji is now 10 years old and staying happily in Japan. This landmark case was an eye-opener which revealed many gaps and lacunas in the legal system. These legal deficiencies were later successfully rectified making the laws relating to citizenship more transparent and standard.
European countries like Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden do not allow surrogacy officially. Certain countries like Belgium, Greece, the Netherlands, and the UK only allow Altruistic surrogacy, but commercial has completely banned in these countries.
Poland and the Czech Republic are two European countries presently do not issue any legal laws to regulate surrogacy. Whereas Georgia, California, Israel, Russia, and Ukraine legally allow commercial surrogacy.
Many states in the USA also give legal permission to altruistic surrogacy only. Australia, Canada, and New Zealand are also allowed altruistic surrogacy. But religious authorities from most of the Middle Eastern countries do not allow surrogacy at all.
Bulgaria termed surrogate as “substitute mother” after they sanctioned the process as legal. However, earlier it was illegal in Bulgaria but there were many cases of illegal surrogacy came to surface.
Ravi Sharma is the director at ARTbaby Global (ARThealthcare). And a successful pharmacist and a marketer. He loves to write about IVF, Surrogacy and other ART (assisted reproductive technology) news, issues, and updates. He is a Pharmacy graduate and M.B.A (marketing).