Foreign Correspondent: June 23

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This week on Foreign Correspondent reporter Samantha Hawley goes in search of a baby boy who was born via surrogacy in India and left behind by his Australian parents.

How do you find one small child in a country of more than a billion people?

Armed with just a birth date, not even a name, Foreign Correspondent goes on a quest for a twin boy who was born through a surrogacy deal in New Delhi. His Australian parents chose to take his twin sister back home – leaving him behind.

Their decision shocked senior Australian judges interviewed by Foreign Correspondent.

The extraordinary case of the boy left behind was first revealed by Foreign Correspondent and ABC News earlier this year. But his identity and fate have stayed a mystery.

Reporter Samantha Hawley teams up with two Indian child protection campaigners as they weave through Delhi’s labyrinthine bureaucracy and backstreets on a hunt for the twins’ birth records, the boy’s adoption papers and details of the surrogate mother and Australian parents.

Hawley reveals how the case worried Australian consular officials in Delhi. Australian High Commission staff tried desperately to persuade the Australian family to take both twins back home.

But Canberra sent approval for citizenship and a single passport to be given to just one child – the girl – despite international commercial surrogacy being outlawed in the Australian parents’ home state.

In this tragic story about one baby boy who became the by-product of an unruly $500 million industry, two leading judges tell Foreign Correspondent it’s now time for the Australian Government to take a lead in reforming the system.

8pm Tuesday on ABC.

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