Another Country is closing its doors to commercial Surrogacy in the wake of disturbing cases and reports of mistreatment of surrogates in their country. Hopefully more Parents will see that turning to the United States, with our well managed Surrogates who are educated, informed and ready to fully commit to the process is a better option. Surrogacy in the United States is a much better option for contentious couples, who can expect to find a legal, well managed process and no surprising legal challenges.
Thailand’s interim parliament has given initial approval to a bill banning commercial surrogacy, the practice of hiring a woman to carry a fetus to term.
Thailand was rocked by several surrogacy scandals earlier this year. One involved an Australian couple who took home a healthy baby girl born from a Thai surrogate mother but left behind her twin brother who had Down’s syndrome.
The other case involved a Japanese man who fathered at least 16 babies via Thai surrogates.
National Legislative Assembly member Chet Siratharanon said the bill passed its first reading on Thursday, and a finalised version was expected to be ready for consideration within 30 days. The interim government installed after a military coup in May vowed to outlaw commercial surrogacy and punish offenders with up to 10 years in prison.
Thailand is one of the few countries in Asia where commercial surrogacy is not specifically banned by law. The medical council of Thailand has a regulation stating that doctors risk losing their licence if they perform surrogacy for pay. But that penalty has rarely been enforced and there are no rules covering surrogacy agencies or surrogate mothers, leaving room for commercial surrogacy to occur without oversight.
Thailand has become a go-to destination for couples from Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan and a low-cost alternative to the United States. The cost of a baby by surrogate in Thailand is less than $50,000, compared to about $150,000 in the US.