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A couple from Toronto has been stuck in India for five years after traveling there to find a surrogate to have their son. The father’s sperm and anonymous eggs were placed in a surrogate, who then gave birth to a set of twins – a boy and a girl.
Children who are born using surrogates in any country will be able to get Canadian citizenship if at least one of their biological parents is a Canadian citizen – the parents can then sponsor the child for citizenship or the child can apply for citizenship.
It’s not surprising that Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials would request a DNA test before bringing the children home to Canada, but what was surprising was that the boy was not genetically related to the father. It’s not exactly known what caused the mix-up: twins fathered by two people is not completely unheard of, and it is possible that a mistake was made at the fertility clinic in India.
Unfortunately, Canada’s Assisted Human Reproduction Act has made it illegal for Canadians to hire surrogates, driving some people who want to use surrogacy either underground or to other countries – like India. Situations like this Toronto couple being stranded in India were feared when paying for surrogacy become illegal in Canada.
This couple has no friends or family living in India and have no idea when they will be able to bring their boy home. So, the couple is faced with the terrible dilemma of hiding in India (they are living there illegally and could be deported if found) and waiting for Citizenship and Immigration Canada to review its policies and make changes, or leaving the boy in India.
Earlier this year, an almost identical situation was reported when a different Canadian couple went to India to hire a surrogate and eventually found that the eggs used – which were supposed to be from the Canadian mother – were from a stranger, and therefore the twins that resulted were also not eligible for Canadian citizenship.
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