(THAILAND) – On Friday, the Australian surrogacy advocate said that just recently two Australian and US couples that were leaving Thailand with surrogate mothers’ born babies were stopped at the airport and prevented from leaving the country. Recently, Thailand’s military ruled government has passed a preliminary approval for a new law to recognize commercial surrogacy as criminal offence, after several controversial surrogacy cases during past few weeks, including the one where a couple from Australia left behind a Down’s syndrome baby with his Thai surrogate mother but took his twin sister.
Previously, the Down’s syndrome baby case has spread an international criticism and was remarked as, “wombs for hire”. Vulnerable and poor women of the third world countries such as India and Thailand are used for such purposes.
Pattamaporn Rattanadilok na Phuket, a representative of the officially known National Council for Peace and Order, said, “The NCPO has approved a surrogacy draft law,” she added, “We will punish through criminal law those who practice and are involved in commercial surrogacy. Those who hire surrogate mothers or make this a commercial business will be violating criminal law.”
The law has been finalized to get approved by National Legislative Assembly and will then be formally supported by Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand. It is not clear yet that how much time the final approval will require.
Furthermore, these cases have revealed an ominous side of Thailand’s surrogacy mafia, which attracts couples, who are unable to conceive naturally, across the world. Till now, Thailand does not have a specific law to ban such activities, however, the code of conduct of the Medical Council of Thailand permits non-profit surrogacy for blood relatives. Anyhow, the military rulers have ordered an investigation, across the nation, to evaluate the underground surrogacy industry.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said, “While regulation of surrogacy in Thailand is a matter for Thailand, we continue to encourage Thai authorities to adopt appropriate transitional arrangements for any new measures they may introduce, so concerned Australians are not unduly affected.”