DFAT: there is now a way to get your children out of Cambodia
In November 2014, Cambodian authorities advised the Australian Government that the act of commercial surrogacy, or commissioning commercial surrogacy, was illegal in Cambodia with penalties including imprisonment and fines.
On 24 October 2016, the Cambodian Government issued a ministerial directive which reaffirmed that surrogacy is banned in Cambodia.
However, on 5 May 2017, Cambodian authorities advised the Australian Government of the transitional court arrangements for children born through surrogacy in Cambodia, effective from 28 March 2017. The advice received from the Cambodian authorities noted that a commissioning father must establish paternity through Cambodian court proceedings, supported by a positive DNA test result, and a surrogate mother will need to consent to a transfer of parental power. These transitional arrangements apply to children conceived before 28 March 2017 and are valid for 9 months and 10 days from that date. Commissioning parents should seek independent legal advice on how these arrangements are to be applied.
Commissioning parents should also be aware that they may face delays in obtaining exit permits for children born through surrogacy in Cambodia pending the further development of surrogacy laws and regulations in Cambodia.
Australians are advised not to visit Cambodia for the purpose of engaging in commercial surrogacy arrangements. You should seek independent legal advice regarding these matters.
If you have undertaken surrogacy in Cambodia, I would strongly suggest getting independent advice before going through the process proposed by the Cambodian government.