Thai surrogacy is now dead in the water
Yesterday there was a meeting between the various IVF clinics, the Thai Medical Council, lawyers and others. The outcome of the meeting is ominous for those who undertake surrogacy in Thailand: it is over.
In summary, surrogacy is now only recognised in Thailand if:
- the intended parents are a heterosexual married couple
- who are medically infertile
- the surrogacy is altruistic
- and the surrogate is a blood relative.
It is no surprise that this will exclude almost every foreigner from pursuing surrogacy in Thailand. For Australians, this is significant- as about 400 babies were born in Thailand via surrogacy in the year ended 30 June 2012 to Aussie intended parents, and that number is likely to have increased since then.
The ruling coming out of the meeting, bearing in mind that there is now a military junta in charge in Thailand, is that surrogacy will be illegal in Thailand if:
- the intended parent or parents are unmarried under Thai law (i.e. de facto couples, same sex couples and singles are excluded)
- any money is paid to the surrogate
- the removal of the child from Thailand without permission of Thai authorities will breach Thailand’s human trafficking laws.
What impact this will have on those with existing arrangements, and those with embryos in Thailand, will remain to be seen. It is likely that those with embryos in Thailand- where they have donor sperm or egg- will be unlikely to use those embryos in Australia, and if they want to be used may need to use them somewhere else, such as the USA. Whether embryos will be able to be exported from Thailand is unknown in the current environment.
Watch this space.