Indian Woman Offers Relief to Japanese Surrogate Baby

by Tanya Thomas on Aug 9 2008 1:57 PM

Little Manjhi, the new born Japanese surrogate baby, can now hope for some real love and affection after an Indian woman has come forward to take care of her. The child, who made it to national television, has now found a savior thanks to the woman’s generosity who will care for the 13-day-old infant until the legal issues are settled.

The baby has now found a 'mother' in Shweta, wife of a friend of her parents, who after having delivered her own baby recently, has come forward to feed Manjhi like her own child.

"I thought about feeding Manjhi because she does not have her mother with her. Everybody is busy making his or her own stories, but nobody is concerned about the child," said Shweta.

The doctors at the hospital are pleased with the development as they feel that now Manjhi will be able to get the all the necessary nutrients that only mother's milk can provide to a new born.

"Kamal's wife (Shweta) has just delivered her baby, I did not offer her to feed Manjhi as I thought she's just had her child, and she might not be interested. But she herself offered to feed Manjhi, considering her as her own child," said Sanjay Arya, a doctor.

Manjhi, born from an Indian surrogate mother, is caught in a legal tussle. India's laws prohibit the child's divorced Japanese father from taking custody of her.

Manjhi's future is left in uncertainty. Her parents came to India a year ago and had hired the services of a surrogate mother in Ahmedabad, but during the pregnancy, the couple divorced.

Soon after the baby was born, serial bombings took place in Ahmedabad and the baby was shifted to Jaipur, where she is currently being looked after at the Arya Hospital.

The father now wants to take custody of the child, but he had to leave India after his visa expired.

Even as India is fast emerging as a major destination for surrogate pregnancies, such births are largely unregulated.

The Surrogacy Bill is pending in parliament, but according to governing laws, parents have to adopt their surrogate child and adoption laws make it difficult for single fathers to adopt girls.