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Children born through surrogates stranded

SOME 50 children born through Thai surrogates for Israeli couples have remained in Thailand since late last year due to an issue over their travel documents.

Thathree Chaowachata, chief of the Foreign Ministry's Department of Consular Affairs' Legalisation and Naturalisation Division, said these cases included homosexual couples.

Speaking at a Bangkok seminar, Thathree said the parents had applied for the children to leave the country using Israeli travel documents.

However, after consultation with police, he said it was to be determined if using a Thai as a surrogate who was not a blood relative fell within the frame of human trafficking.

Natthajak Patamasingh na Ayudhya, the Office of the Attorney-General's International Affairs Department executive, said interpreting the law in this case would take a long time, so the ruling junta should urgently consider the matter.

He said the Social Development and Human Security Ministry's draft legislation for the protection of children born through the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) was currently being considered by the Council of State.

The bill would require ART procedures to be completed by a certified doctor, not be advertised commercially and the child must be guaranteed a good future.

Natthajak said that without this bill, people would use legal loopholes to benefit from the surrogacy business, which would lead to more social problems.

The Medical Council of Thailand will meet in mid-August to review its regulation for ART service standards in a bid to prevent abuses such as illegal surrogacy or embryo sex selection.

Council president Dr Somsak Lohlekha said the body would amend the law so it is clearer in the banning of ART for homosexuals and single women, and the banning of egg-donation advertisements.

Somsak said under the law only a spouse's blood relative, who has at least one child, can be a donor.


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