HYDERABAD: The startling way in which a 40-year-old US woman decided to fight for a passport for her baby, born to a surrogate mother through IVF, has kicked up a lot of questions on bureaucratic confusion on surrogacy laws. J Pearllinda Vanburen is married to a Jamaican national, rented a womb from a Hyderabadi woman and used the eggs donated by a woman from Rajahmundry.
But when even a month and half after her son Emperor Kaioyus Vanburen was born, she failed to get a passport for him, she resorted to the extreme step of leaving her baby at the Regional Passport Office here. Her method may have shed light on her situation but has far from eased official confusion on giving passport for the baby.
Q. Why did you prefer India to get a surrogate child?
A. It was my dream, not only to get a surrogate baby, but also to get one from India, which has a good culture. Besides, the expenses involved here is considerably low. We spent around $25,000 (around Rs 10 lakh).
Q. Your move to abandon the baby at the RPO has provoked doubts on your relationship with the child...
A. I do not bother about allegations. I want to take my child back to my country. I just tried to protest and explain to the passport officials about the plight of a baby without his mother. Besides I only acted like I had left my baby.
Q. Have you got any assurances from the officials?
A. No, I have not. I applied for passport last Thursday. My husband Eric Dalton Green is waiting to see the baby at home. But the passport officials just ask me to come some other day each time.
Q. But what reasons do the officials give for the delay?
A. They say they have some doubts. I brought semen samples from my husband, who is a Jamaican national and used the eggs from another woman in the state. The baby was delivered by a Hyderabadi woman whose womb was rented. The officials are in confusion regarding this. I came to the city in October 2009 and met doctors at Dr. Rama’s Institute for Fertility for the baby. It took me three years to get my child and now they do not give me a passport.
Q. Do you hope to get the passport soon, now that your case is out in the open?
A. Yes, I am confident. The passport officials here have faxed the details to the ministry of external affairs seeking advice on how to proceed. I am sure they will come up with a solution soon.