SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia faced calls Thursday for a national inquiry into commercial surrogacy after a senior judge revealed a couple allegedly rejected a child born in India, following a similar case in Thailand.
Family Court Chief Justice Diana Bryant said Australian consular officials in New Delhi had to find a home for a twin born through surrogacy in India after the couple said they only wanted one child.
“They told me the surrogate mother had given birth to twins and the Australian couple only wanted one of the children,” Bryant told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
She added that the case was raised by consular officials in 2012.
“These women were extremely concerned about what was happening. They were doing the best they could, they told me, to persuade the parents to take both children, to negotiate with them.”
Bryant told a family conference in Sydney on Wednesday that a person who claimed to be a friend of the couple apparently took the unwanted child.
“(The officials) told me, however, that they doubted this was true and it was their belief that money had changed hands,” The Australian newspaper reported Bryant as saying.
“That is trafficking in children.”
It is not clear where the child now is.
The claims follow international debate over the case of baby Gammy, who was born with Down’s syndrome to a Thai surrogate for an Australian couple in December. The couple took the boy’s healthy twin sister back to Australia but left Gammy in Thailand.
Federal Circuit Court Chief Judge John Pascoe called for a inquiry, saying he thought “international commercial surrogacy is the new frontline in human trafficking”.