An Australian judge said that two years ago a couple rejected a child born to an Indian surrogate mother because of the baby’s gender, but took home its twin sibling.
The twins were a brother and sister.
Australian Family Court Chief Justice Diana Bryant said in a statement that she was told by Australian embassy officials in New Delhi that the couple’s decision to leave the baby they paid an Indian surrogate to deliver was based on its gender. Bryant did not know what gender the parents wanted.
“It is believed that they only wanted one child as they already had one and wanted one of a different gender,” the judge said.
The Australian High Commission in New Delhi delayed giving the Australian parents a visa for the wanted child while they tried to persuade them to take both children, Bryant said.
A person claiming to be a friend later took the unwanted baby. But embassy officials doubted the person was a friend and suspected money had changed hands, the judge said.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the High Commission’s role had been limited to assessing the parents’ application for citizenship and a passport for the chosen twin.
“As the parents decided to apply for citizenship for only one child and consequently the other child was not granted Australian citizenship, India became responsible for the welfare of the other child and adoption arrangements became a matter for its legal system,” the department said in a statement.