• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Surrogate children have no right to German passport, court rules

The Local · 28 Apr 2011, 11:41

Published: 28 Apr 2011 11:41 GMT+02:00

The court in Berlin ruled that the German embassy in India was within its rights to refuse a passport to the child, born in December, on the grounds that the citizenship of the biological father was irrelevant to the case.

Surrogate motherhood is prohibited in Germany. It is permitted in India. But under both German and Indian law, the legal father of a child born by surrogacy is actually the surrogate mother’s husband.

The biological father in this case was a German man born in 1950. He and his wife applied at the German embassy in India for the child to get a German passport.

The embassy rejected the application because it doubted the child’s German citizenship. The birth certificate from the hospital recorded the German man and his wife as the parents. The place of birth was recorded as an agency that specializes in surrogacy.

German citizenship is normally recorded if one of the parents has it. But the court ruled that doubts about this relationship were grounds for refusing a passport. In this case, the citizenship of the biological father was not legally relevant.

The parents are able to appeal the decision to a higher court.

A similar case two years ago made headlines when twins born to an Indian surrogate mother were denied entry to Germany. Not until May 2010 were visas issued after the Bavarian couple fought the case through the courts.

The twins were born at the beginning of 2008. The German authorities denied the infants passports because surrogate motherhood is not legal in Germany. The authorities in India issued the children with travel documents only after months of debate. Eventually these were stamped with German visas.

Story continues below…

The Foreign Ministry states expressly on its website that children born to surrogate mothers overseas to German “hopeful parents” do not acquire German citizenship at birth.

“The phenomenon is widespread in India where many childless Germans go to fulfil their wish to have babies,” Stephan Groscurth, a spokesman for the court, said on Wednesday. “They think it is possible without any problems to take the child to Germany. But that’s not the case.”

DPA/The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:38 April 28, 2011 by mehta_p
Insane

Sorry, I can't find worse adjective...!!!
17:09 April 28, 2011 by charlenej
The issue of using surrogate mothers from India is debatable, but does this mean surrogacy in any form is illegal in Germany? I'm unclear about that. If so, that would be horrible. What if the egg and sperm belong to the biological parents? What if the surrogate is German?
19:46 April 28, 2011 by vonkoenigsberg
Why are they going to India, of all places, to do this? It is legal in other countries besides India. Why would Germans want a half Indian baby that looks nothing like them? How about adoption of actual Germans as an alternative? The law is the law, however, and Germany has a respectable legal system that should be observed.
21:01 April 28, 2011 by aschwab
What a shame...what a shame....
22:44 April 28, 2011 by Dlocal
on Vonkoenigsberg: grow up buddy....

what about more than 35000 Germans living in India and quite a few thousands married to Indians having a child who have legal right to German and Indian passports...how are they different from this case....dont even get me started how many Germans are in inodnesia .. you know doing what?

utter nonsense....to allow a century old east european if he proves biological german forefather but to deny a biological half german child his or her right to german passport...

well said...Charlenej...what if the surrogate was a German and in India.....
03:44 April 29, 2011 by DrStrangelove
I can hardly imagine that this decision will hold up. While the article isn't very explicit, there seem to be two possible cases: Either the Indian woman was inseminated with the German man's sperm, or a fertilized egg was taken from the German couple and implanted into the Indian woman's womb.

In the first case, the situation would be equivalent to that resulting from an extramarital affair, in which case German citizenship would surely be granted to the kid. I can't imagine that the method of insemination can determine citizenship, so citizenship must be granted in this case.

The second case would be similar to the insemination, except that now both germ cells derive from the German couple. If citizenship must be granted in case the father's germ cell is implanted, then surely the same must apply if the mother's germ cell is implanted, too; anything else would amount to gender discrimination.
09:50 April 29, 2011 by tallady
That seems very reasonable to me DrSl.

If the courts say there is a reasonable amount of doubt as to the authenticity of one of the parents being German then do a DNA analysis of the three.

Surely the court would consider this validation, as not to would be pure discrimination.
17:57 April 29, 2011 by DrStrangelove
Another point to consider is that withholding citizenship punishes the kid for a crime (if we want to call it that - I don't see anything wrong with such arrangements between consenting adults) committed by the parents. Surely that can't be right.
Today's headlines
Stuttgart fest pulls in twice as many boozers as Oktoberfest
Is this Oktoberfest or is this Stuttgart's Cannstatter Volksfest? Can you tell the difference? Well, it's Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

Apparently Munich is no longer the top place to wear lederhosen and down beer one litre at a time.

Dresden mosque, conference hall hit by homemade bombs
The Dresden mosque that was hit by a homemade bomb attack on Monday. Photo: DPA.

Bomb attacks hit a mosque and a congress centre in the eastern German city of Dresden, police said on Tuesday, adding that they suspected a xenophobic and nationalist motive.

The Local List
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Photo: DPA

These films are so good, not even The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari made the list.

Young man destroys 17 cars after visiting Oktoberfest

Early on Monday morning a drunk 29-year-old trashed 17 cars after staggering out of Oktoberfest into the Munich streets. It was one of several eye-popping crimes from "Wiesn" over the past few days.

VW emissions scandal
Audi tech chief leaves after reports link him to 'dieselgate'
Audi's head of technical development Stefan Knirsch stepped down on Monday. Photo: DPA.

Audi's head of technical development stepped down "with immediate effect" on Monday, the luxury carmaker announced, after German media accused him of involvement in parent company Volkswagen's "dieselgate" scandal.

Deutsche Bank shares hit lowest level in quarter century
Photo: DPA.

Shares in Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, sank to a historic low on Monday after reports at the weekend that Berlin had refused state aid for the embattled lender.

The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

German broadcaster sues Turkey over confiscated video
Akif Cagatay Kilic. Photo: DPA

German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle said Monday it had filed a civil complaint after a Turkish minister's office confiscated a taped video interview with him.

Germany's 'James Bond' goes on trial over tax evasion
Werner Mauss. Photo: DPA.

Germany's former top spy, Werner Mauss, went on trial on Monday accused of hiding millions of euros from authorities.

Germany holds first national 'mermaiding' championship
Photo: DPA

Ariel would be proud.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,511
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd