Miami attorney Bernard Siegel has asked Circuit Judge John Frusciante to appoint a guardian for "Baby Eve" who the Raelian religious sect says was cloned by a related firm known as Clonaid. The Raelian religious sect and the related company Clonaid announced in south Florida Dec. 27 that the baby was born the day before at an undisclosed location.
Some court observers who didn't expect Judge Frusciante to take the case seriously were apparently wrong. "I'm here for the child's safety, for the purposes of protecting the child," the judge said. Clonaid Vice President Barry Kaenzig testified from Las Vegas by telephone Wednesday but did not provide any answers on the whereabouts of "Baby Eve."
When Clonaid President Brigitte Boissilier announced the birth, she said the child was born of U.S. parents, but would not disclose their whereabouts. She said they were not in the country. She said the parents would submit to DNA testing to prove the child was a clone, but she later said the parents were reluctant to do that because they were afraid the child would be taken away from them.
The judge ordered both Kaenzig and Boissilier to appear in his courtroom for a hearing Jan. 29. "I don't think we can trust any one's word for--especially this company--that they provide proper medical care or a proper medical safety net for this child," Siegel said after the proceeding. Clonaid attorneys Jonathan Schwartz and Barry Wax contended that the courts have no jurisdiction over the baby girl and that Siegel has no basis for saying the child may be in danger. "The child is not in Florida, was not born, was not conceived in Florida, and the parents have never been in Florida to her knowledge, and would swear to that, and would testify to that," Schwartz said. "That's why we believe that this particular court is not the appropriate jurisdiction."
The question of whether there really is a child, has not been answered, and after the hearing there were doubts about Clonaid. Kaenzig said the firm was not incorporated anywhere and at this point, he does not receive a salary.