Surrogacy in Thailand - to be continued?

The surrogacy business in Thailand has recently grown in geometric progression. Couples incapable of giving life to their offspring made use of surrogacy services provided by Thai companies.

Basically, the IVF pricing policy in Thailand does not differ much from that applied by other clinics of reproductive medicine. However, as regards the cost of services of surrogate mothers, it is much lower in Thailand than in those countries where surrogate motherhood business has no legal restrictions.

Today there is still no law in Thailand, which regulates the principles of surrogacy. On the other hand, there is no law that forbids providing such services. At the same time, a bill was adopted some years ago, according to which the commercial use of surrogacy would be fully forbidden in Thailand.

Pursuant to the laws existing in this country, a woman who gave birth to a child gets custody of such a child automatically, even if she is not genetically related to the child. To get their child registered in their name, clients (genetic parents) must seek the Thai court decision that would absolve the surrogate mother from all her rights and grant the sole custody of the infant to its biological father.

In 2013 there was one of the greatest scandals in the area of Thai surrogacy. The scandal was caused by the fact that above 60 Israeli couples could not take their newborn children off the country.

But it was not the end. This year one more scandal may dot the i’s. The surrogate mother gave birth to twins – a boy and a girl – for a family couple for Australia. While the girl proved to be absolutely healthy, the boy was found to have the inborn Down syndrome. The parents renounced their claim to the baby without a moment’s hesitation, gave their preference to the healthy daughter and took her to their homeland subsequently.

Naturally, the affair got a lot of publicity. As was alleged by the surrogate mother, the agency handling her program and representing the interests of the clients began insisting on abortion as soon as it was confirmed that one of the children whom she carried had genetic abnormality. Since abortions are forbidden in Thailand, the surrogate mother refused to undergo this medical procedure.

It is also stated by the woman that the father has never paid attention to the boy when visiting the newborn children at the hospital.

The genetic parents dispute the surrogate’s version, trying to prove that they were unaware of the boy’s disease. According to them, they had to leave the child under the pretext that the heart disease was diagnosed to him after birth, and the doctors left any hope that the baby would survive.

There is more to it. It was found out later that the genetic father had prior pedophilia conviction record. At the age of 20 he was sentenced to three years for sexual abuse of two 10-year-old girls. In 1997 he spent another 18 months in jail for improper sexual conduct with a child.

Under those circumstances the Thai authorities took the issue of surrogacy rather seriously and are about to banish its commercial principles. Indeed, instead of performing a noble function, this particular field of the science of reproduction got transformed into a perverse service from the moral point of view.  The most essential thing here is that the whole process has become a finely tuned business controlled by no one.