54 foreign couples leave Nepal with surrogate children
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - The authorities in Kathmandu have allowed 54 foreign couples to leave the country with children born from surrogacy. Previously parents were stuck in Nepalese territory pending clarification of the law that prohibits the practice of renting wombs.
In September 2014, the Nepali Parliament decided to permit surrogacy services. The decision was not followed by legislation regulating the matter, a fact that has contributed to making the Asian country one of the most popular destinations for foreign couples with fertility problems, like India and Thailand, considered real hub in the "reproductive tourism".
In the absence of legal regulations, private hospitals that practice surrogacy have sparked a controversy, until on September 19 this year the Supreme Court of Nepal has decided to stop all services.
This raised the question of the "legitimacy" of the children already born through surrogacy, as in the case of the 54 foreign couples. At first, the Department of Immigration (DoI) decided to deny travel permits for children born to surrogate mothers, until the government's decision, which established a special pass to these parents.
Kedar Neupane, general manager of the Department, said: "Now these foreign parents are allowed to leave Nepal with their children. We asked him to wait a few months to figure out how to implement the Supreme Court decision. Now that the question is clear, and the ban is in effect, those who have already paid for the services are free to return to their countries of origin. There is no longer any obstacle. "