External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has taken up the issue of a British couple who could be forced to leave their surrogate daughter in India due to the delays on part of UK government in processing her passport.
In a series of tweets, Swaraj asked the UK government whether it would provide passport to the surrogate baby given the fact that commercial surrogacy is banned in Britain.
Commercial surrogacy is banned in Britain. Will British Government give a British passport to this surrogate Baby ? https://t.co/TNVa7IrG54— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) September 13, 2016
“Should orphanage be the destiny of a surrogate baby?” Swaraj tweeted last night.
Should orphanage be the destiny of a surrogate Baby ?— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) September 13, 2016
Swaraj also took potshots at those who have criticized the government's move towards tougher surrogacy laws.
Will the advocates of commercial surrogacy suggest a solution and help this Baby ? Pl RThttps://t.co/OCVyNSSs4Y— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) September 13, 2016
The couple's lawyer told a private news channel that if the minister really wants to help, "she should expedite their exit visa when the UK passport is issued and extend their medical visa."
Chris and Michele Newman are in Mumbai on a medical visa, both have applied for baby's British passport on June 3, but have been told it may only be processed after their current Indian visas run out on October 7.
Their three-month-old daughter Lily may not get travel documents in time, the British consulate in Mumbai has reportedly warned.
If their visas run out, it will leave them battling a legal minefield to get Lily out of the country.
Lily's dad Chris told BBC Radio 5 live's Adrian Chiles he is horrified at the prospect of not coming home with his daughter.
“I did have to do something no father had to - I was pacing around at 3am, looking at orphanages in the middle of Mumbai”.
The Newmans, who are staying in a one-bedroom flat in Mumbai, said that British authorities in India have been helpful but the difficulties have been with the passport office in Liverpool.