New Thai laws leave hundreds of babies in limbo

Xavier Symons
August 8, 2014
Reproduced with Permission

New surrogacy regulations introduced by the Thai junta government have placed hundreds of surrogate newborns and fetuses in legal limbo.

Yesterday the National Council of Peace and Order - the current Thai interim government - announced a blanket ban on commercial surrogacy arrangements , strictly limiting surrogacy to altruistic arrangements involving blood relatives. The regulations are a ratification of extant restrictions in the code of ethics of the Thai Medical Council.

It is unclear what effect the new ban will have on ongoing surrogacy arrangements involving couples from other countries.

NCPO spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvaree said yesterday the law would allow infants who have just been born to be suckled by their birth mothers for six months, but then would allow the baby to be taken home by parents.

Health Ministry general-secretary Samphan Komrit did not give a definitive answer to questions about fetuses of foreign biological parents currently being carried by surrogates. He only said that such cases would be dealt with "according to morality".

Australian couples are concerned about the fate of their children being carried by surrogates.

Talking with The Australian, an anonymous Australian woman spoke of her concern of her surrogate "going underground" to avoid prosecution.

"We are due to go there in eight weeks but we are really worried about whether we will be able to leave with the baby."

The regulations come in the wake of the controversy surrounding a down syndrome child left by her Australian parents with a surrogate mother in Thailand.