Thailand examining legality of surrogacy service clinics

Thailand is examining the legality of surrogacy service clinics and doctors who perform the procedures after a recent case in which a baby with Down syndrome was allegedly abandoned by his Australian parents.

PTI| Updated: Aug 05, 2014, 12:07 PM IST

Bangkok: Thailand is examining the legality of surrogacy service clinics and doctors who perform the procedures after a recent case in which a baby with Down syndrome was allegedly abandoned by his Australian parents after being born to a surrogate mother.

Six-month-old Gammy has Down syndrome along with a congenital heart condition and a lung infection.

His surrogate mother, Pattharamon Chanbua, said Gammy was abandoned when his Australian parents took his sister home but left him. She said they had asked her to abort him.

A large and legally registered hospital located in a province near Bangkok provided the surrogacy service.

"We have found 12 surrogacy service clinics, only seven of which were legally registered with the HSS," said Ar-kom Praditsuwan, Director of the Department of Health Service Support (HSS).

He warned if the HSS found physicians of clinics performing surrogacy services without licences, they would be shut down by the Medical Council of Thailand and the HSS.

In Thailand, there are no specific laws regulating surrogacy services. Medical Council of Thailand regulations govern commercial surrogacy, which can proceed only if the egg and sperm come from a blood relative.

But Ar-kom said human trafficking or consumer protection laws may be examined if state authorities considered taking action.

Pattharamon declined to say where she had been taken to receive the surrogacy procedure. She said an Australian foundation will be responsible for the baby`s treatment costs.