Canadian website GlobalNews is reporting that Toronto man Joseph Tito is stuck with twin baby girls born via surrogacy in Kenya. Mr Tito contacted an Indian surrogacy agency to do surrogacy in Kenya.
Mr Tito paid US$60,000 for five embryo transfers as well as attorneys and DNA tests in Kenya, an amount about the same or slightly higher than what he might have spent back home with surrogacy.
Mr Tito understood that there was a quirky Canadian law that covered first generation migrants such as himself not being able to pass on Canadian citizenship to a child born overseas, but it seems didn’t get Canadian legal advice about the issue first, and as a result has become stuck.
It seems that the twins are stateless. They are not citizens of Kenya, nor Canada. They might become citizens of Italy- a country that is generally against surrogacy- but he doesn't live there.
I have said it before, and I will say it again: Surrogacy is the most complex way of having a child. International surrogacy is the most complex form of surrogacy. It is essential for anyone undertaking international surrogacy to get legal advice first at both ends so that any hitches or roadblocks like this one can be avoided.
Above all, while I feel sorry for Mr Tito, I feel particularly sorry for his poor girls stuck in a legal no man’s land and stateless. They deserve better.