Thailand’s changing political scenarios may affect surrogacy as well. The coup leader turned Prime-Minister, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, has announced the policy of the new government. Among other issues that had been discussed by him, he has announced that his new government vows to abolish the commercial surrogacy industry in Thailand. He had also stated that a new law shall be passed to make illegal the commercial surrogacy arrangements in Thailand. Even worse, the law might be expected by end of 2014.
I have no idea about the domestic surrogacy arrangements in Thailand. There was never much news about it and it is understandable that the numbers are lesser. But international surrogacy arrangements in Thailand did have an impact on the globe. A lot of couple from Australia and US had moved to Thailand after the India had tried to regulate the surrogacy for foreigners. India visa rules prohibited surrogacy for gay couples, unmarried couple who are in de-facto relationship and couples who were married for less than 2 years. India also required that the country of origin of the commissioning parents allow surrogacy arrangements in order to take up surrogacy arrangements in India. These rules in India made Thailand as a viable option for international surrogacy arrangements. A lot of medical tourism companies even promoted Thailand as a safe place for surrogacy, even though the Government had not acknowledged it. There is in fact Thailand medical council resolution prohibiting surrogacy. Even with such regulations, the Thailand clinics offered surrogacy services pretty openly. Unassumingly a lot of desiring parents took up surrogacy in Thailand.
Thailand new governement’s view over surrogacy arrangement has startling effects.
We are witnessing increasing reports of parents who had children through surrogacy in Thailand and unable to leave the country after the birth of the child. There is no clear statement from the Thailand Government as to how many parents have been stranded with their children in Thailand at the moment. Given the number of incidents reported in the papers, the numbers seem fairly high. Somehow the regulations in that country does not give a window period for enforcing the new ban.
Thailand should give a window period for those who had taken up surrogacy earlier
We all remember India’s legal conflicts when a similar issue arose here. When the Home Ministry came out with regulations for granting visa for surrogacy for international patentients prohibiting single/gay couple, India gave a window period of atleast 6 months. It was unofficially extended for another 2 months. I really hope that Thailand gives a similar window period for enforcement of the new rules, in interest of those who have taken up surrogacy arrangment. It is disheartening that childless couple wishing to have a family should be put through so much of a struggle, for just trying to realize their basic dream of parenthood.