Parliament of Thailand passed a law to ban commercial surrogacy for foreigners

Feb 21, 2015 17:03 IST

Parliament of Thailand (National Legislative Assembly) on 19 February 2015 passed a law banning commercial surrogacy, putting a halt on foreign couples seeking to have children through Thai surrogate mothers. The parliament voted 160 to 2 to pass the law.

The legislation is aimed at ending rent-a-womb industry that made the Southeast Asian country a top destination for fertility tourism.

Provisions of law banning commercial surrogacy

• It completely bans foreign couples seeking to have children through Thai surrogate mothers.
• Only married Thai couples or couples with one Thai partner who have been married at least three years can seek surrogacy.
• It allows a Thai couple to seek a surrogate to carry the fetus only if they are able to prove that they and their relatives are infertile.
• It also forbids any middlemen or agencies, receiving any assets or benefits through the surrogacy process.
• It also says that anyone violating this law will face a maximum jail sentence of 10 years and a maximum fine of 6100 US dollars. Agents will also face imprisonment, if caught.
• It puts a ban on advertising and promotions, shuts down surrogate agents and unregistered clinics.

Background
Earlier in November 2014, Thailand’s Parliament voted a draft bill to ban commercial surrogacy. This draft bill was formulated to regulate the illegal commercial surrogacy after outrage erupted over this unregulated industry.

This industry came under intense scrutiny after a series of surrogacy scandals broke in the country involving foreigners.

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