54 couples leave country with surrogate babiesAs many as 54 foreign couples have left Nepal with their surrogate babies in the last one month following a government decision to issue exit clearance in October-end.
As many as 54 foreign couples have left Nepal with their surrogate babies in the last one month following a government decision to issue exit clearance in October-end.
According to the Department of Immigration, foreign couples and their surrogate babies have been leaving Nepal without facing any hassles following the decision. Surrogacy services in Nepal started in September 2014, which were allowed through a Cabinet decision but without putting proper law for the same in place. After surrogacy was banned in Thailand and India, Nepal had emerged as a hub in Asia for commercial surrogacy.
But in the absence of proper law, surrogacy services, provided by some private hospitals, ran into controversy, and the Supreme Court in September this year issued an interim order to halt the services.
Those who already had taken surrogacy services before the ban were stuck in Nepal after the Department of Immigration (DoI) denied travel documents to surrogate babies, citing the court order. According to Kedar Neupane, Director General at the Department of Immigration, foreigners now are being allowed to leave the country with their surrogate babies.
As per DoI data, 26 couples from Israel, 13 from Australia, six from Brazil, three from the US, two each from the UK and the Philippines and one each from Spain and Ecuador have left the country with their surrogate babies in the last one month.
Surrogacy services in Nepal
- Surrogacy services started in Nepal through a Cabinet decision in September 2014, but no proper laws were in place
- On September 19, 2015, the government banned surrogacy after a Supreme Court stay order
- Foreign couples who had already taken surrogacy services before the stay order were stuck in Nepal after their surrogate babies were denied exit clearance
- In October-end, the government decided to issue exit documents to those surrogate babies and their parents who had taken surrogacy services before the ban was enforced