The case of baby Donna, the child born to a surrogate mother in Belgium, is a legal nightmare and one which highlights the complexity and fragility of the entire surrogate baby ‘industry’.
The case involves three (would-be) sets of parents – the mother who had the baby, the Belgian couple (including the biological father) who ‘commissioned’ the baby and the Dutch family who ‘bought’ her on the internet.
Today a Dutch court ruled the baby should stay with her Dutch family – and denied her real father visiting rights, for the time being at least.
But back in 2005, the Belgian courts ruled that the baby should be returned to their jurisdiction. The Dutch family refused and went to court themselves.
Now the father says he will appeal. It is a legal battle which is likely to go all the way up to the European court system.
In the meantime, baby Donna is three years old. King Solomon, faced with a similar dispute back in Biblical times, suggested the baby be cut in half and a piece given to each mother. The real parent offered to give up her child, rather than let it be killed.
Perhaps the would-be parent who offers to let baby Donna grow up in peace, rather than fighting over her as if she was a thing rather than a little girl, is the right person to get final custody.
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