| April 25, 2018

32 surrogacy babies get exit permit in a week

KATHMANDU, Nov 7: A total of 32 babies born through surrogate mothers have received exit permit from Nepal.

Within a week after the government decided to allow foreign surrogacy clients to take their babies abroad, the number of such child getting exit permit has reached 32.
The Department of Immigration (DoI) has granted such babies exit visas after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) decided to allow foreigners to take home their babies, who were stuck in Nepal following the ban on surrogacy on October 29.

"As per the instruction from the MoHA, we have been providing visas to the babies born through surrogacy," said Kedar Neupane, director General at the DoI.

He informed that at least eight to ten foreign couples, some of them stuck in Nepal for more than two months, have been visiting the DoI to get exit permit.

The DoI had stopped issuing exit visa following an interim order of the SC on August 25 to halt surrogacy in Nepal following legal controversies surrounding the service.

The MoHA, last week said that the babies already born or conceived before the SC's decision could be granted exit permit.

However, the home ministry has barred taking away surrogate babies born or conceived after the stay order of the court, irrespective of the nationality of surrogate mothers. It has also sought details on surrogate mothers in the country.

On the other hand, the Grande City Clinic, one of the hospitals providing surrogacy services in Nepal, said it has more than 60 cases of surrogate pregnancies in its shelter homes.

The first surrogacy baby was born in Nepal in January, 2014. After surrogacy was banned in Thailand and the legal complications in India, Nepal emerged as a hub for commercial surrogacy in Asia. After India prevented gay men and couples who had been married for less than two years from opting for surrogacy in 2013, Nepal became the destination for surrogacy, mostly for Israeli citizens.