A gay couple from Israel has discovered that a surrogate child born in Nepal isn't theirs following routine genetic testing. The two men have been forced to give up the child after caring for it for a month.
Israeli law requires that any couple who uses a foreign surrogate must prove the child is biologically related to one of the parents. After the birth of the baby girl, the couple flew to Nepal to be with her while they awaited the results of the tests. The tests can take weeks to process according to Gay Star News.
The Tammuz International Surrogacy agency quickly launched an investigation into the matter and concluded that "a rare human error" occurred, saying "as a result we have learned some lessons."
"We understand the parents’ distress and the difficult situation in which they find themselves. The company is closely accompanying the parents through the process and has made a psychologist available to them to help them cope," Tammuz said in a statement released to the press. "Tammuz works with the most advanced personnel in the surrogacy field, has faultlessly helped hundreds of families realize their dreams of becoming parents, and will continue to help in the future with a full commitment to preventing such things from happening again."
The couple remains in Nepal awaiting the birth of another child to a different surrogate mother. Laboratory officials say the second child may have been created with the sperm of one of the men, but won't be able to confirm the result until after the new baby is born and more testing is done.
Under Israeli law, only heterosexual couples can use surrogates in the country; same-sex couples must use surrogates abroad. Nepal's Supreme Court recently banned foreign surrogacy saying the procedure exploits poor women. Children conceived prior to the court ruling may still be claimed by their parents.