December 3, 2022

Tangled tale of surrogacy in Nepal

From Nepal comes a family dispute which highlights the complexity of surrogacy. Mrs Sambhavi Rana has appealed to Nepal’s Supreme Court to stop her husband, Ujjwal Rana, from bequeathing the couple’s property to his three-year-old daughter Bina. This case is the first of its kind in Nepal which has no laws governing surrogacy, although Nepalese women are said to act as surrogates for Indian citizens.

From
Nepal comes a family dispute which highlights the complexity of
surrogacy. Mrs Sambhavi Rana has appealed to Nepal’s Supreme Court to
stop her husband, Ujjwal Rana, from bequeathing the couple’s property to
his three-year-old daughter Bina. This case is the first of its kind in
Nepal which has no laws governing surrogacy, although Nepalese women
are said to act as surrogates for Indian citizens.

Bina
was conceived by a commercial surrogate mother, Ayushma Nagarkoti, with
whom Ujjwal Rana had signed a formal contract. Rana also undertook to
pay maintenance and medical costs for her for two years and the woman
agreed to hand over the child when she was two. Ujjwal Rana had notified
the chief district officer about the arrangement. He also declared that
his wife – who was incapable of giving birth – agreed to the contract.
Now his wife has challenged this version of events and says that she
knew nothing about it. She has also challenged his claim that she was
unable to conceive, has accused him of mental and physical abuse.

Nagarkoti is married and her husband is working abroad. She told the court that he had consented to the surrogacy.

Judge
Tek Narayan Kunwar resolved the dispute last week. He ruled that a
surrogate child should have the same rights as a biological one, and
should be entitled to inheritance rights. However the decision is likely
to trigger a debate. Lawyers say that it ignored the role of the mother
and the need to get her consent for obtaining a child through a
surrogate mother. ~ Times of India, Mar 8

Jared Yee
Nepal
surrogacy