Surrogacy in Bangkok used to be one of the best surrogacy destinations for thousands of child-seeking couples worldwide. However, as is the case with many global surrogacy initiatives, the use of Thai surrogates by foreign intended parents came to a stop due to a lack of regulation.
The Thai government passed regulations in 2015 addressing the Thailand surrogacy procedure as a result of several contentious cases that came to light; these surrogacy laws in Bangkok still govern who may or may not utilize surrogacy in Bangkok currently.
Is Surrogacy Legal in Bangkok?
According to surrogacy legislation in Bangkok, intending parents from outside Thailand are prohibited from using surrogates. Moreover, commercial surrogacy was officially outlawed for all intended parents in 2015 thanks to a federal law that was approved (banning the surrogacy process completely for international intended parents). Since 2014, the military administration had forcefully shut down the commercial process.
As of now, new surrogacy laws in Bangkok only allows married heterosexual to perform surrogacy in Bangkok. The couple must have been married for at least three years and at least one spouse must be a Thai national. Even if they are Thai nationals, singles of all sexual orientations and homosexual couples are not allowed to complete surrogacy in Thailand.
Surrogacy laws in Bangkok further mention that any surrogate must also be a sibling of one of the parents. She has to be married, have her own kid, and have her husband’s approval for the surrogacy procedure.
Any selling of ovum, sperm, or embryos is prohibited in Thailand as well in an effort to combat the commercial use of assisted reproductive technologies.
As you can see, it is extremely challenging for any Thai person to accomplish surrogacy in Bangkok, in addition to being impossible for intended parents from other countries. So, you can always opt for other alternatives like Surrogacy in Kenya, Surrogacy in Georgia, surrogacy in Argentina, and so on.
What were the key reasons behind the banning of Surrogacy in Bangkok?
The government restricted the practice of commercial surrogacy in Bangkok as a result of two major incidents. Both of these contentious circumstances first came to light in 2014, the same year the military administration started shutting down surrogacy facilities under duress. Thailand is revising surrogacy laws in Bangkok to allow foreigners to hire Thai surrogate mothers without requiring one partner to be Thai.
The Case of “Baby Gammy”
The “Baby Gammy” case generated the larger of these two debates. The surrogacy process Wendy and David Farnell undertook in Thailand was initially successful for them; their surrogate became pregnant with twins. However, once the babies were born, the parents only brought their daughter Pipah with them when they left for Australia.
The surrogate said that after she denied their request for selective abortion, the parents abandoned their Down syndrome-affected kid because of his impairment. David Farnell said that the doctor at the clinic had just informed them that they had a daughter (the agency no longer existed to corroborate that claim).
The surrogate ultimately adopted the kid, whom she called Gammy, and then filed a custody request for Pipa. The fact that David Farnell had previously served time in jail for child sex offenses complicated the situation even further after her motion was turned down after a judge determined that the Farnells had not officially abandoned their kid.
The controversy surrounding the case highlighted the complications associated with Thailand’s illegal surrogacy industry. It gained widespread attention, and the Thai government immediately started taking action to limit the surrogacy procedure.
The Case of Mitsutoki Shigeta
Another surrogacy-related incident involving Thailand came to light around the same time. Police in Bangkok executed a search warrant and found nine infants delivered to one Japanese businessman, Mitsutoki Shigeta, using a surrogate.
He was determined to have fathered at least 16 children in all and had stated his desire to have 10 to 15 children a year, according to the clinic’s founder. He also intended to continue having children for the rest of his life.
Interpol launched an inquiry despite Shigeta’s claims that he had the resources to care for every child and only desired a large family. Interpol looked into child trafficking and child exploitation as potential motives. Three of Shigeta’s children were finally granted custody, with the other children being cared for by child protective services. He keeps requesting the other children’s fatherhood rights.
This incident served as another additional impetus for Thai authorities to prohibit surrogacy there, which they did the same year by forcefully closing down all commercial surrogacy operations. The following year, the laws would be changed, and they are still in effect today.
What future holds for Surrogacy in Bangkok?
Surrogacy laws in Bangkok are criticized over ethical concerns during the surrogacy process and concerns regarding the child. There are not many positive signs for the future either. It is realistic to anticipate that the Thai government won’t examine any new surrogacy legislation in Bangkok any time soon as they aren’t already doing so.
Because of the surrogacy-related issues their nation has seen, Thai officials are probably afraid to start the surrogacy process again until there are better means to control it. Thailand’s surrogacy was such a well-liked alternative that it would take a lot of money to effectively control it everywhere.
It’s probable that surrogacy in Thailand will remain illegal, as per the new surrogacy laws in Bangkok. This will increase the risk to the intended parents and surrogates. If you’re thinking about doing international surrogacy in Thailand, you should know that it is not possible to do so legally and securely, and any program that says it can is lying.
How we can help?
At Become Parents, we will help you in picking the best alternative to surrogacy in Bangkok with the help of our expert surrogacy professionals. We have partnered with some of the best clinics and agencies to make you pick the most ethical and affordable surrogacy options.
Connect with one of our coordinators today for a free consultation!