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Assisted Reproduction

Humanitarian Crisis: 250 Australian Babies May Be Potentially Trapped In Thailand As Part Of Baby Gammy Surrogacy Scandal

Left behind by biological parents … Seven-month-old Down syndrome baby Gammy is fed in a Thailand hospital. Picture: Patrick Brown

My heart goes out to these families who did nothing wrong but realize their dream of becoming parents:

IMMIGRATION officials are on high alert at all of Thailand’s international airports — including the holiday spot of Phuket — as foreigners try to get their babies born to surrogates out of the country. Their urgent bid to flee comes after a countrywide crackdown on commercial surrogacy which this week saw two Australian couples prevented from leaving Bangkok.

Australian family lawyer Joe Lynch, who is based in Bangkok, told News Corp Australia that immigration officlas from airports across Thailand were flown into the capital on Monday for government briefings. “People are looking at using other international airports … (officials) were flying down to be briefed on the government’s present position,” he said. “People were considering getting out through other airports but I don’t know that that’s going to be available to them. “One of the Australian citizens turned back yesterday … she attended Bangkok airport with the child, who had an Australian passport, and the surrogate. They all planned to fly to Singapore but they were not permitted to do so.”

Four couples — two from the United States and two same-sex couples from Australia — were prevented from leaving Bangkok’s international airport on Thursday afternoon after Thai police ordered that no surrogate babies be allowed out of the country without an order from the Thai Family juvenile Court, which could take months to obtain.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement that embassy officials in Bangkok were “assisting Australians with children born by surrogacy in Thailand who have been prevented from departing the country in recent days”. It said Thai authorities were now “enforcing strict documentation requirements upon exit of the country when they suspect a child has been born by surrogacy in Thailand”. The department said while regulation of surrogacy in Thailand was a matter for Thai authorities, Australia was continuing “to encourage Thai authorities to adopt appropriate transitional arrangements for any new measures they may introduce, so concerned Australians are not unduly affected”.

The military-run Thai government clampdown on the burgeoning commercial surrogacy industry comes after publicity surrounding a Thai surrogate mother who claimed she was left with a Down syndrome baby — a little boy called Gammy — who was rejected by his Australian biological parents David and Wendy Farnell because of his disability.

The biological parents dispute the circumstances in which they abandoned their son and took his healthy twin sister home. Mr Lynch said he is not representing either of the Australian couples who were stopped from leaving but he has three Australian clients who are ready to head home. “I have a number of clients who have children in Bangkok at the moment and I have a large number of clients who have children on the way so they’re all extremely nervous and very worried,” he said, “The embassy is assisting them with urgently processing their babies’ applications for citizenship.

“I understand there are about 250 Australian babies on the way.”


5 comments for “Humanitarian Crisis: 250 Australian Babies May Be Potentially Trapped In Thailand As Part Of Baby Gammy Surrogacy Scandal”

  • Dancer

    1. It should be a great lesson for
    couples who are not serious to the process of finding a clinic. People should
    read legislation of country they want to choose for surrogacy very carefully if
    they don’t want to lose this newborn child. I made my choice with Biotexcom in
    Ukraine, great country and very good clinic, our surrogate mother was very
    charming. The legislation is very attractive for infertile couples. I recommend
    Ukraine and Biotexcom for your surrogacy journey.

  • Rosalia

    It is a hight risk to do surrogacy in Asian countries. Intended couples do not know the conditions where surrogate mothers live. Surrogacy in Thailand seems to be a disaster. It is convenient for people to do surrogacy in countries that are not far away. That is why as I uderstand it is comfortable to do surrogacy in Thailand for Japanese and Australian couples. But it better sometimes to go far but without any problems than to do it near but have a lot of problmes with registration and so on. For instance, I am from Brazil. But I passed surrogacy program in Ukraine. Because I found it is more reliable and convenient for me.

  • Nelly

    Rosalia, and what about Mexico? It is closer to you. And it develops now, too. As I know it is permitted in some states as in USA.

  • Rosalia

    No, surrogacy In Mexico is just the same as in Asian countries. I do not know too much about surrogacy in other countries, but sanitary conditions are bad in Mexico. I am not sure about the health of surrogate mothers and their living conditions. There is such poverty in some districts as in Asian countries, so I was afraid to do surrogacy in Mexico.

  • Lorina

    This humanitarian crisis was provoked by the fact that surrogacy is illegal in many countries. I think that surrogate mothers should be allowed because if somebody can’t have children they should still be able to
    raise a family of their own. For women it is very important. It is great news that The European Court of Human Rights recognized the children born from surrogacy http://newseurope.info/video/surrogacy-a-form-of-planned-parenting-yet-to-win-eu-wide-acceptance/

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