Divergent laws leave twins stateless

Sumitra Deb Roy | The Times of India | Mumbai | 2 Feb 2011

It is an odd tale of two brothers. A pair of twins born to a surrogate lives stateless, while the police and two major governments confusedly fumble about for more than a year in an attempt to understand the case and decide their nationality.

Norwegian national Kari Ann Volden came to Mumbai in 2009 to have a child through surrogacy. Suffering from premature ovarian failure, she approached Rotunda fertility clinic in Bandra and, with its help, chose an unrelated Scandinavian sperm donor and an Indian egg donor. The tailor-made embryo was implanted in a surrogate’s womb in May the same year, and, in January 2010, twin boys were delivered.

Volden’s tale of woes began in February when she requested Norway for travel documents for the newborns. The country’s consul general rejected the plea after mandatory DNA tests showed that she and the children were not biologically related. Ever since, the twins are living with Volden in India in limbo.

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