Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Nanny Who Was A Princess

Norway is one of the more progressive countries on the plant. It was the second country ever to allow same-sex partnerships, back in 1993, and marriage equality became legal in 2009. One thing, however, the government is not very progressive about is surrogate parenting, and the Norwegian government actively discourages citizens from paying surrogates to give birth for them.

Which makes this story a tad bit interesting.
See, Norway’s Crown Princess, Mette-Marit, secretly travelled to India last October to care for infant twins born to her gay friend, and his surrogate mother, after his travel visa was delayed. The Princess used a diplomatic passport to travel to India because it granted her immediate access and did not alert the Indian authorities of her arrival.
She took those somewhat dramatic steps because her friend--who works at the palace--and his husband, were not able to travel to India in time for the birth of their children. Princess Mette-Marit spent several days caring for the twins at Manav Medicare Centre,and, because she travelled fairly anonymously, most of the staff assumed she was a nanny. 
During her absence, the princess’s name still appeared on the Norwegian palace calendar, and her absence, even from a parliamentary dinner, was never explained. Once a relative of the fathers arrived and was able to   take over from Princess Mette-Marit, she returned to Norway; the fathers of the child were granted visas in November and brought their children from India to their new home in Norway.
Princess Mette-Marit spoke briefly about what she had done, and even acknowledged the debate over surrogacy in Norway, but said she had not down what she did as a statement on the issue:
“Sometimes life presents you with situations with few good solutions. This was one of those. There is an important debate going on about surrogacy and this was not meant as taking a side....For me, this is about two babies lying alone in a New Delhi hospital. I was able to travel and wanted to do what I could.”
Even though she never meant her actions to be seen as her stance on the issue of surrogacy, it really was just that. But it was also a statement about same-sex marriage, and equality and friendship, and what friends do for one another regardless of sexual orientation.
We could all use a Princess Mette-Marit in our lives. Lord knows we have enough queens.



the dogs' mother said...

Now that's a good person to have in your corner :-)

Cubby said...

This was a great story. I like these good news pieces.