Surrogacy in Thailand is becoming a major issue due to new laws that the government wants to pass. Australian couples are being detained at airports and cannot return home with their babies, and there are growing concerns for surrogate mothers who are currently carrying babies.
The issue was raised after Baby Gammy was left with his surrogate mother. An Australian couple refused to take him due to him having Down syndrome, and there were fears he would be left abandoned. There are now fears that other children may be left abandoned because they are not quite as perfect as their parents would want them to be.
This one unfortunate case has led to the government trying to prevent it happening again. While there is some sense in the new legislation, the government wants to fast-track everything to affect current surrogates and eggs that are being stored ready for use. It has led to questions over whether the eggs can be used and whether there is going to be an issue for Australian couples that currently have surrogates.
The current move is to de-commercialize surrogacy. A number of clinics have already been shut down, and surrogate brokers are being stopped. This is to prevent couples from paying their surrogates in anyway, which could lead to further problems. It could lead to the surrogate mothers not having enough money to support themselves while they carry other people’s babies.
The new laws have really created a major issue for surrogacy in Thailand. There is not just a problem financially for those carrying children for others, but the medical and emotional support. It can be a very difficult time for those carrying babies for others. There are all the same hormones and difficulties that other expectant mothers go through, but without the reward of having a baby to go home with in the end.
Without the financial and emotional support, surrogate mothers could abort the babies they are carrying. That will leave the parents without the baby that they crave and have looked forward to all this time. It could even lead to the mothers putting themselves in danger, especially if they are too far along in the pregnancy to have an abortion.
The current situation has led to an Australian couple with their new baby being stuck in Bangkok while everything is organized. The couple refused to sign a waiver to say that they did not pay for the surrogacy or egg donor. The two do not know when they can return home and whether they will be able to return home with their baby.
It will be a scary time, but it is understandable for the government to force through new laws. Something needs to happen to protect babies from being abandoned. At the same time, expectant parents and the surrogate mothers need the support, and need to know what is going on or how it will affect them. There is the chance that those who go against the laws could be charged with human trafficking, which is a major crime in the country and carries a 10-year prison sentence. The new laws have really led to surrogacy in Thailand being a major issue that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham