Thailand is a country that used to be the preferred surrogacy hub for most international parents from Asia. Even though surrogacy is banned for international citizens as of now, you may come across many surrogacy agencies that offer personalized surrogacy plans and programs, even for same-sex surrogacy in Thailand.
That said, we won’t advise you to go ahead with these plans or programs until you are dealing with a reputed surrogacy agency in Thailand.
How Thailand once served as a perfect surrogacy hub for many?
As mentioned earlier, Thailand used to be the most preferred surrogacy destination for numerous international parents. While cheap surrogacy options came as one big reason, it gained further popularity due to the following aspects:
Absence of Surrogacy laws: There was a time when Thailand didn’t have many regulations regarding surrogacy or even same-sex surrogacy in Thailand. Moreover, given the absence of these regulations, commercial surrogacy agreements were relatively simple to set up. On the other hand, parents from other countries saw this as an opportunity to realize their parenthood goals at a much more affordable rate.
Easy availability of Surrogates: There were many potential surrogate mothers in Thailand who were willing to carry a child for international parents. Moreover, this is due to various reasons like financial situation, cultural expectations, and a desire to aid others.
On the other hand, intended parents who were unable to find surrogates in their country of origin were drawn to the availability of willing surrogates in Thailand.
Also, given the easy availability of surrogates for same-sex surrogacy in Thailand, the country became a top choice for most same-sex intended parents.
Lower surrogacy cost: Compared to other developed countries like the UK, USA or Canada, surrogacy cost in Thailand was way lower. So, intended parents who couldn’t afford the high costs associated with surrogacy in their home countries found Thailand to be an appealing option. Moreover, this was due to the lower cost of medical procedures, fertility treatments, and surrogate compensation.
Again, we know that surrogacy for same-sex in Thailand demands higher costs than usual. Still, the low-cost surrogacy options offered by the surrogacy agency came as a big respite for many in the same regard.
Standardized medical infrastructure: Thailand had a well-developed medical infrastructure, as well as skilled medical personnel and fertility clinics with years of experience in assisted reproductive technologies. Moreover, the availability of a top-notch medical infrastructure gave the intended parents peace of mind regarding the security and standard of care during the surrogacy procedure.
That said, it’s crucial to stress again how much the surrogacy landscape in Thailand has changed. Besides, the Thai government has put in place stricter laws, including a ban on foreigners using commercial surrogates currently. Also, these modifications were brought about by concerns and doubts about surrogate exploitation, moral dilemmas, and the requirement to safeguard the rights and welfare of all parties. Therefore, if you are thinking about surrogacy in Thailand or any other country, it is essential to take into account the current legal system and speak with legal professionals.
What measures have been recommended to legalize Surrogacy in Thailand?
Although there have been discussions and proposals to regulate surrogacy in Thailand, no concrete steps have been taken to make it legal for foreigners. Besides, the surrogacy landscape can change quickly, so there may have been changes since then. That said, the following suggestion may come fruitful in legalizing surrogacy in Thailand in the future.
Drafting well-defined Surrogacy Laws
In order to make surrogacy legal, a nation usually creates extensive legislation that spells out the legal obligations, rights, and safeguards of all parties involved, including intended parents, surrogates, and the children born through surrogacy. Furthermore, these laws may cover topics like eligibility requirements, medical and psychological evaluations, contract terms, payment, and the determination of legal parentage.
Just like that, even Thailand requires proposing similar laws to regulate surrogacy within its legal territories. Besides, it can bring special provisions for aspects like Gay surrogacy in Thailand.
Establishing Regulatory Bodies
Thailand should establish regulatory organizations or departments with the mandate to supervise surrogacy agreements, guarantee legal observance, and safeguard the interests of all parties concerned. That said, these organizations may establish regulations, keep an eye on surrogacy clinics or agencies, and deal with any potential legal problems or disputes.
Protecting the Rights of Children and Surrogates
The rights and welfare of surrogate mothers and children should come first in the legal framework for surrogacy. That said, it might include guidelines for surrogate screenings for physical and mental health issues, informed consent practices, access to quality healthcare, support services, and legal safeguards against exploitation or abuse. On the other hand, procedures for establishing legal parentage and securing citizenship or nationality for children born through surrogacy may also be established by law.
International Coordination and Cooperation
Thailand may set up systems for global coordination and cooperation in surrogacy agreements. Additionally, this can entail information exchange, working together on legal frameworks, and making sure that cross-border surrogacy cases abide by established laws and safeguards.
Intended parents must understand that the current regime may not support their parenthood goals to the core. So, they must wait for some future amendments in the existing laws and regulations before taking any key decision in the same regard.
Is Surrogacy in Thailand recommended for international parents?
Considering the existing laws and ethical issues, there are some reasons why surrogacy in Thailand may not be advised for foreign parents.
Legal Uncertainty: Thailand used to be a popular destination for foreign couples looking for surrogacy arrangements because of its relatively lax attitude toward commercial surrogacy. Still, there were problems with the law and complications and no clarity was provided even by the government. Moreover, a law prohibiting commercial surrogacy for foreigners was passed in Thailand in 2015, which caused uncertainty and confusion for those involved.
So, as of now, you may not be able to pursue surrogacy being an international parent in the country. Besides, the rule asks one of the intended parents to be a Thai citizen.
Complicated regulations: Thailand has made significant changes to its surrogacy policy over the past few years. That said, the nation has been focusing on protecting the rights and welfare of surrogate mothers and children while enforcing stricter regulations. Besides, international parents may find it challenging to navigate the process due to Thailand’s changing legal climate, which may deter them from using surrogates there.
Ethical issues: Surrogacy-related cases in Thailand have often led to exploitation and violations of human rights. Moreover, due to unclear legal frameworks, some reports highlighted instances in which surrogates were mistreated, contracts were broken, or children were left stateless. That said; these concerns have prompted ethical issues and prompted a more circumspect attitude toward surrogacy in Thailand.
The surrogacy cost in Thailand is still lower than many countries around the world. Still, given the uncertainty around the regulations, we would advise you to consult with a reputed surrogacy agency in the country.