64-year-old father gets custody of surrogate child

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 16, 2013 02:42 hrs

Jaipur: A family court here has allowed a 64-year-old man custody of his surrogate child, being claimed by the surrogate mother, after staying orders of the state Child Rights Commission and the Child Welfare Committee (CWC).

The direction was issued by family court judge Devendra Joshi on a petition filed by one K K Singh, an entrepreneur, who used the method of surrogacy in 2006 with the help of the woman who was his own office staff.

In his petition, Singh alleged that the surrogate mother had acted on greed and sought custody of the child.

She had approached the state Child Rights Commission and the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) for custody. Taking note of the grievance of the surrogate mother, they directed that the child be delivered to her.

In order to comply with the order of the Commission, CWC chairman Ram Prakash Bairwa asked the police to produce the child and father on January 16 before the committee.

"We made a written complaint against the misuse of power by the CWC to the Additional Chief Secretary, Social Justice department as both the Commission and the CWC, Chairman, misused their power for the question of custody of a minor can be decided only by a family court or a district judge under the law.

"The petition was also moved before the family court which has granted a stay order. The custody of the child will now be with the father," Abhinav Sharma, counsel for the petitioner, said.

In his order, the judge observed, "The Child Rights Commission and the CWC are entitled to look into the rights of a child who is left stray, or is a run away child, or a child in need of care and protection but it cannot disturb custody of child who is being brought up well.

"We therefore direct that the Chairman, CWC, and Child Rights Commission will not undertake any action to disturb the custody of the surrogate child till further order."

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