Thailand’s parliament has passed legislation banning commercial surrogacy, putting a halt on foreign couples seeking to have children through Thai surrogate mothers.
Surrogacy-tourism to Thailand was at the focus of negative media attention last year when an Australian couple were accused of leaving a twin boy, known as Baby Gammy, with his surrogate mother after they discovered he had Down syndrome.
The legislation passed by Thailand’s national legislative assembly on Thursday closed some loopholes in the country’s public health laws that enabled commercial surrogacy to thrive. However, it falls short of a complete ban of the controversial practice.
The new law bans all foreign and same-sex couples from seeking surrogacy services in the country. Only married heterosexuals are allowed to use surrogates, and at least one of them must be Thai. There are no fees allowed for the service and the surrogate mothers must be Thai and over 25 years old. The surrogate mothers are also required to be relatives of either the husband or wife.
While Thailand used to be the destination of choice for Australians seeking surrogacy services, European wannabe “parents” prefer Russia and Ukraine.