Thailand plans to legalise surrogacy for foreign couples

BANGKOK (Reuters): Thailand is amending a law to allow foreign couples to seek surrogacy services in the country, a senior health official said on Friday.

In 2015, Thailand introduced tough regulations to control surrogacy and banned the process for foreign couples after several high profile scandals that led to a crackdown on the country's unregulated "wombs for hire" industry.

"We will amend the law that will allow foreign couples to receive surrogacy service here based on regulations," Arkhom Praditsuwan, deputy director-general of Health Service Support Department, told Reuters.

Those eligible must be legally married, regardless of their gender, and the child from surrogacy must be guaranteed protection and rights in the couple's home country, Arkhom said.

Foreign couples will be allowed to bring their own surrogate or use a Thai surrogate, and those undergoing the process will need to be vetted by a government committee, he said.

The proposed law changes will be submitted for cabinet approval later this month as part of a wider reform of regulations on surrogacy, in-vitro fertilisation and artificial insemination to allow Thais, including same-sex couples, greater access to these services as well as enhancing medical tourism, Arkhom said.

If the cabinet approves the amendment, it will be submitted to parliament and the senate for consideration.

Thailand made commercial surrogacy illegal in 2015 and only allows surrogacy, controlled by a government committee, for Thai couples or a Thai who has married a foreigner for at least three years and who faces difficulty in having children.

(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Kim Coghill) - Reuters

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Thailand , Surrogacy , Foreign Couples


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