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Thai Parliament Votes to Ban Commercial Surrogacy Following Baby Gammy Case

Thai Parliament votes to ban commercial surrogacy to combat the idea that Thailand is a baby factory.

Thai surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua (left) holds her baby Gammy, born with Down Syndrome, at the Samitivej hospital, Sriracha district in Chonburi province on Aug 4, 2014. Thailand’s parliament has voted to ban commercial surrogacy after outrage erupted over the largely unregulated industry. — PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (AFP) – Thailand’s parliament has voted to ban commercial surrogacy after outrage erupted over the largely unregulated industry following allegations an Australian couple abandoned a baby with Down’s syndrome, a legislator said Friday.

A draft bill – which would see anyone profiting off surrogacy given a maximum ten year prison sentence – passed its first reading in the country’s military-stacked parliament on Thursday, legislator Wallop Tungkananurak said.

“We want to put an end to this idea in foreigners’ minds that Thailand is a baby factory,” he told AFP. “The bill was adopted with overwhelming support.”

Commercial surrogacy was technically banned by Thailand’s Medical Council, but until recently even top fertility clinics were believed to offer the service.

The murky industry came under intense scrutiny this summer after a series of surrogacy scandals broke involving foreigners.

In August, a Thai mother who carried twin babies for an Australian couple accused them of abandoning a baby boy with Down’s syndrome while taking his healthy sister.

The couple have denied deliberately leaving the boy, called Gammy, with the surrogate mother – who was paid around US$15,000 (S$18,754)to carry the twins.

In a separate case, police believe a Japanese man fathered at least 15 babies with surrogate mothers for unknown motives.

A gay Australian couple were also stopped from leaving Thailand with a baby because they had incomplete documents.

Thailand’s military junta, which took over in a May coup, vowed to crack down on the industry.

Dozens, possibly hundreds, of foreign couples are thought to have been left in limbo after entering into surrogacy arrangements through clinics in the kingdom.


2 comments for “Thai Parliament Votes to Ban Commercial Surrogacy Following Baby Gammy Case”

  • Pingback: The Spin Doctor | Thailand Bans Foreign "Surrogacy Business"()

  • Mandy Berns

    Babies Gammy is very significant situation for such countries as Thailand and India. Sanitary situation leaves much to be desired, the health of surrogate mothers are donors is not checked in appropriate way. They have a lot of diseases, which affect the children. A lot of hidden fees and cheaters! I strongly recommend you to stay away from these countries if you want to have healthy children. Unfortunately this couple is not the only one. Always couples are looking for low-cost programs and don’t pay attention to the main things. Moreover, I understand when you dream about children but don’t have enough money for example for surrogacy in US. But there are a lot of other options, which are worthwhile. I passed my program in Ukraine in Biotexcom clinic. I was looking for that clinic for a long time. I checked everything before signing the contract and I had never regretted my choice. This is European country, of course they have some disadvantages concerning conditions and service, but on the other hand, they are very serious about surrogacy, health conditions of donors and mothers. They improve the procedure of ivf and increase the chances of positive pregnancies. After first attempt I have twins taking into account the fact that before I went through a lot of programs in different clinics of different countries. People, be careful
    making you choice, the health of your future children depends on it!

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