Thailand commercial surrogacy ban takes effect

2015-07-30 19:27

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Bangkok - A law banning commercial surrogacy took effect in Thailand on Thursday, the public health ministry said. 

The law made it illegal for clinics to provide surrogacy services, including the buying and selling of sperm and eggs, and the renting of wombs by surrogate mothers.  

Married couples looking for surrogacy services must now seek approval from a certified doctor. 

Doctors who aid in commercial surrogacy can be jailed for up to a year, while surrogate mothers can be jailed for up to 10 years, the Ministry of Public Health said in a statement.

The country re-examined its surrogacy laws following public outcry in 2014 when an Australian couple decided not to take a surrogate baby that was born with Down's Syndrome. They left the child with its surrogate mother.

That case was followed by the discovery of a Japanese man who fathered nine babies by different surrogate mothers. The man said he wanted to leave behind as many children as possible for the betterment of the world. 

Interest in those cases and subsequent investigations uncovered a vast network of surrogacy clinics that operated beyond the law. 

Thailand's military government moved to ban commercial surrogacy, passing a bill in February.

Read more on:    thailand

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