The Ministry of Home Affairs by its communication dated 23rd July 2012 transfers the application partly to the Ministry of External Affairs. It could be noted here that the Ministry of External Affairs had brushed aside the RTI Application earlier made to them pertaining to the publication of surrogacy notification in the websites of the Embassies and failed to provide any information pertaining to the same. The post pertaining to failure to disclose information is here. It would be interesting to witness if the Ministry of External Affairs discloses information pertaining to the publication of the Surrogacy Notification in the websites of the Indian Embassies and Consulates.
Question 21 of the RTI Application related to the number of Exit VISA stamping done for cases of surrogacy. The Ministry of Home Affairs had transferred the particular question to the all the State Governments, Union Territories and the Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs).
I had written to the Indian Embassy in Beijing, China seeking information under the Right to Information Act, 2005 over the notification published by the Indian Embassy in their website (http://www.indianembassy.org.cn/DynamicContent.aspx?MenuId=59&SubMenuId=91). The material published in the website is with regard to the new Surrogacy Visa introduced by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The following are the contents that have been published:
Notice regarding visa to India for the purpose of entering into surrogacy arrangements
Any person seeking a visa to India for the purpose of entering into a surrogacy arrangement must ascertain beforehand whether the law of that country permits surrogacy and will provide appropriate travel documents to the child for accompanying the surrogate parents. Entering into surrogacy arrangements under any other visa not sought for surrogacy is punishable under Indian law.
I had received a reply on the 25th July 2012 providing answer to my reply. The following is the relevant extract from the reply received from the Indian Embassy:
- The above quoted contents were published on the Embassy’s website in pursuance to instructions received from Ministry of External Affairs.
- The contents are regulatory in nature.
- The intent of publication of the above content is to protect interest of the child born as a result of surrogacy and to ensure that he/she can be taken to the country of the parents commissioning surrogacy.
- GoI instructions as stated in Para 4 above.
- Medical Visa is the appropriate visa for the purpose.
- Copies of the document cannot be provided as they are classified in nature.
- The following documents are required for the visa for the mentioned purpose :-
a) Document to substantiate that the couple commissioning surrogacy are married for more than two years.
b) Letter from the concerned embassy stating that their law recognizes surrogacy and that the child born to the couple through the Indian surrogate mother will be permitted entry into their country as biological child of the commissioning parents.
c) Undertaking from the couple that they would take care of the child.
d) Copy of agreement between surrogate mother and the commissioning couple.
e) Letter from one of the ART Clinics recognized by ICMR, where treatment is to be done.
- Since the documents are classified, the same cannot be provided.
- As per available records, no visa application has been received mentioning purpose of visit as “Surrogacy” in Embassy of India, Beijing.
- For the purposes of drawing up and executing the agreement mentioned at 11 (d), a foreign couple can be permitted to visit India on a reconnaissance trip on tourist visa but no samples should be given to the clinic during such preliminary visit.