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Thailand Bans Foreign “Surrogacy Business”

After the Baby Gammy controversy late last year, there has been a critical look at surrogacy in Thailand and they have officially criminalized commercial surrogacy.

Thailand’s military-picked legislature passed a law that criminalized commercial surrogacy and prohibited foreigners from seeking surrogacy services in the kingdom after a string of scandals last year, a lawmaker said Friday.

The law, which prohibits the act of hiring women commercially to carry fetuses to term, aims to stop Thailand from being a surrogacy hub for foreign couples, or from becoming “the wombs of the world,” National Legislative Assembly member Wanlop Tangkananurak told The Associated Press on Friday.

Thailand was rocked by several surrogacy scandals last year. One involved an Australian couple who left behind a twin baby who had Down’s syndrome. The other case involved a Japanese man who fathered at least 16 babies via Thai surrogates.

Previously, the Southeast Asia nation was one of the few countries in Asia where commercial surrogacy was not specifically banned by law. The medical council of Thailand has a regulation stating that doctors risk losing their license if they perform surrogacy for pay. Thailand became a go-to destination for couples from Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan and a low-cost alternative to the United States.

“Surrogacy business leaves too much long-term trouble for Thailand, so we are banning foreign couples from seeking surrogacy in our country to avoid being a hub and to prevent what we saw last year,” Wanlop said.

The parliament voted 160 to 2 to pass the law Thursday night.

Under the new law, a Thai couple is allowed to seek a surrogate to carry the fetus only if they are able to prove that they and their relatives are infertile. A couple with one Thai spouse seeking surrogacy must be married for at least three years.

It also says that anyone involved in commercial surrogacy will face a maximum jail term of 10 years and a maximum fine of 200,000 baht ($6,100).
Read our previous posts about Baby Gammy and surrogacy in Thailand:

Baby Gammy Granted Australian CitizenshipThai Surrogate Claims Australian Couple Demanded Twin Abortion After Learning Baby Gammy Had Down SyndromeThai Parliament Votes to Ban Commercial Surrogacy Following Baby Gammy Case


One comment for “Thailand Bans Foreign “Surrogacy Business””

  • Mandy Berns

    India and Thailand are one of the cheapest countries for the surrogate motherhood. With great hope and enthusiasm we went to the Thai clinic. There, we spent a lot of money, and even after 4 attempts we did not reach positive result. Doctors, of course, explained it with the specifics of such procedure, organism’s and embryo’s peculiarities and so on and so on. But a fat lot of good that will do us! We spent all our savings and went home without child. I want to say a few words concerning general impression regarding Thai clinic. In general, it could be seen rather weak organization of work. Surrogate mothers are not checked as must be. Their attitude towards the role they perform is rather specific and negative. They do not feel responsibility and care for the child they carry. All the time, we were accompanied by a feeling of uncertainty towards doctor’s actions. We felt fear if all goes as it should be and if they really conduct real embryo transfer… In a word, Thailand was a horror for us. We spent all our money, had no result but only sense of despair and distrust of clinics for human reproduction. Returning home, during about a year we renovated our psychological condition and raised money for the next attempt.

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