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Surrogacy scandal

Report: Couples prevented from leaving Thailand with surrogate babies

Two Australian couples were prevented Thursday from leaving Thailand with their surrogate babies, ABC radio reported.

The same-sexcouples were stopped by immigration officials at Bangkok airport, the Australian broadcaster said. One of the couples was travelling with the surrogate mother.

Immigration officers were acting on the instruction of authorities, ABC said.

An American couple was also prevented from leaving with a surrogate baby over the past 24 hours, it reported.

The broadcaster said it has learned immigration authorities have been ordered by police not to allow surrogate babies to leave Thailand without a court order.

The incident comes as Thailand reportedly seeks to ban commercial surrogacy and after a widely publicized row between an Australian couple and the Thai woman they paid to have their child.

Pattharamon Jhubua recently made headlines with claims that David Farnell and his wife Wendy abandoned one of the twins she gave birth to in Bangkok in December - a boy with Down’s Syndrome.

The couple, who returned to Western Australia with his health sister Pipah, went on national television Sunday to deny the allegation.

When it emerged last week that Farnell, 56, is a convicted child sex offender, Australia’s child protection services launched an investigation.

Thai and Australian authorities have said they are studying the baby Gammy case. Thailand has been reviewing its surrogacy laws and investigating surrogacy clinics, warning that doctors operating illegally could face prosecution.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has reportedly asked Thai authorities to permit Australians who have already paid surrogacy agencies and mothers to complete their arrangements before enforcing a ban.




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